Working Together (Nehemiah 3:1–2) - Radical

Working Together (Nehemiah 3:1–2)

Then Eliashib, the high priest rose up with his brothers, the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and set its doors. They consecrated it as far as the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Tower of Hananeel. And next to him, the men of Jericho built. And next to them, Zaccur, the son of Imri built.
– Nehemiah 3:1–2

Now, we can keep going on at this point as Nehemiah recounts how the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt by different people doing different parts.

Nehemiah 3:1–2 portrays the beauty of God’s people working together.

So here in Nehemiah 3:1-2, it’s Eliashib, the high priest, with his brothers, the priests, they’re building the Sheep Gate. And then next to him, the men of Jericho are building. And next to them, Zaccur, the son of Imri built. It’s this picture in Nehemiah 3 of God’s people working together to build the walls around Jerusalem, specifically to rebuild them, to repair what was broken.

And as I read these verses, this chapter, I just can’t help but think about the beauty of what happens when God’s people are working together to do what God has called them to do, quite literally, to build each other up, to build up the church, and to work together for the spread of the gospel and the glory of God. I just want you to think right now about other brothers and sisters in Christ that you know.

I want you to think about your church and ask the question, “How can I build them up? How can I build them up in Christ today? And how can I work with them for the spread of the gospel and for the glory of God?” The adversary in this world would love for us to work against each other, to build separately from each other, our own kingdoms, our own things, whatever they may be.

Nehemiah 3:1–2 reminds us we are a body working together for the glory of God.

But now, to say, “We’re together in this thing. We love our God. We want His glory known in the world.” He’s given us a Great Commission to make disciples of all the nations. Let’s work together. Let’s build each other up in Christ, not competing with each other. We’re certainly not working against each other. We’re cooperating with each other, we’re collaborating with each other. With the Spirit of God in us, we’re a body working together for the glory of our God and the world.

And so see your brothers and sisters in Christ this way today, and build alongside them the kingdom of God. Oh God, we love this picture in Nehemiah 3 of your people working together to build these walls around Jerusalem to repair what was broken. Oh God, there’s so much broken in our world, and there’s so much broken even in the church. God, we pray that you help us to repair and rebuild and work together for your glory with every single other person who is trusting in Jesus, who has your Holy Spirit inside them.

Help us to build them up in Christ and work well together to build alongside them today. God, we pray as we look around us, in our lives when we see other followers of Jesus, help us to live, to build them up in Jesus. And then, oh God, for those who don’t know you, Jesus, help us to work well with others in Christ to lead them to Christ today. Help us to make disciples of all the nations today, to play the part you’ve called each of us to play in this amazing work of spreading your glory and your grace among all the nations.

Prayer for the Afshari People

We want to be faithful to build where you call us to build… To do what you call us to do in our lives today. So help us to work together well in the church for the spread of your grace and your glory in the cities where we live… And the communities where we live and among the nations, God, among the Afshari people of Azerbaijan and Afghanistan. This Muslim people group that has hardly any followers of Jesus among them.

God, we pray for those few followers of Jesus. God, please strengthen the Afshari people who know you. Help them to work together in the fullness of your Spirit for the spread of your glory among their people group. God, we pray that you would send laborers from other places… From other people groups for the spread of the gospel… To work, for disciples we made, and churches to multiply among the Afshari.

And for those of us who have resources that can be given to support that work… Help us to play our part in supporting that work. And help us ultimately, as your people all around the world… To work together well for the building up of your kingdom… For the spread of your gospel and your glory to the ends of the earth. God, we pray all this according to your Word… This picture of your people rebuilding and repairing together in Nehemiah 3:1–2. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

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