In 597 BC king Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon started a military campaign to capture Jerusalem. By 605 BC he invaded Judah and took its people (the Israelites ) into exile in Babylon. They lived there for almost 70 years some being slaves. 

This is the story of Nehemiah who returned to Jerusalem to build its walls. 

Who was Nehemiah?

Nehemiah, the son of Hachalia was born in Babylon and he grew up to be a cup-bearer to the King of the Artaxerxes. When his brother visited him he learned about the poor state that Jerusalem and its walls were in, he sat there weeping and crying for days but he always remembered to pray.One day as Nehemiah was serving the wine to the King, the King realized how sad Nehemiah was and he said, "Why is your face sad since you are not sick this is nothing but sorrow of heart."Nehemiah was dreadfully afraid because the King might kill him but he said, "May the king live forever! Why should I not be sad when the city of my Fathers tomb lies in waste and its gates are burned with fire?" Then the King asked Nehemiah "What do you request?" and Nehemiah answered "If it pleases the King and if your servants have found favor, I ask you to send me to Judah, to the city of my Fathers tombs that I may rebuild it." The king also gave him some letters so he doesn't get stopped by the government and some soldiers to go with him.

Building the wall

When Nehemiah arrived at Jerusalem, he started his plan by collecting Priests, leaders, goldsmiths, perfumers and ordinary people but not everyone wanted the walls to be built these people were the enemies, it took a few days to motivate the people into building the wall. When they started the wall, the enemies made fun of Nehemiah and his people, one of the enemies even said "If a fox jumps onto the wall it will break." Then they sent letters to Nehemiah asking him to go to the field, (so they could kill him) but he always replied "no." As the enemies wanted to destroy the wall again Nehemiah split the people into two groups one would have weapons in case the enemies went to destroy the wall again, while the other group of people would build the wall. Nehemiah would encourage his people by saying "The God of Heaven himself will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build." and if anything got in Nehemiah's way he would pray and God would always help him. With the help of God Nehemiah and his people completed the Wall of Jerusalem in 52 days!

How can we "Arise and Build" ?

This story teaches us many lessons 

  • When we are sad and upset we should pray to God just like Nehemiah did when he heard about Jerusalem
  • To be honest and faithful like Nehemiah was when he followed his heart and said the truth to the king.
  • If we have difficulties and problems we must trust in God just like Nehemiah did and because of that he managed to build the wall in 52 days.
  • In our spiritual life we sin and fall, but we must "Arise and Build ", by confessing, praying and getting ourselves closer to God.


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