Jerusalem is a symbol of the city of God, or God’s dwelling place. Rebuilding the walls was important because it served as a sign to Israel’s enemies, showed God was with his people, and revealed his blessing.
When Nehemiah heard that the walls of Jerusalem were still broken down more than a half-century after the completion of the rebuilding of the temple, he “sat down and wept, and mourned for many days” (Nehemiah 1:4). Then he fasted and prayed as he formulated a plan to remedy the situation.
Once the walls were rebuilt, the symbols of God’s presence among his people were restored and the people’s hearts were renewed in faithfulness and gratitude. Overwhelming joy flooded their hearts when the glorious rebuilding was completed. It was an important moment in Israel’s history, a cause for great celebration and heartfelt thanksgiving.
In an individual’s life, rebuilding the walls is a picture of reestablishing strength. We have all met people whose defenses have crumbled away. They may even be derelicts, utterly helpless and hopeless. But in his grace, God reaches down and brings them to a place where he can reconstruct their lives. They are transformed and restored to a place of strength, power and purpose.
One thing you can be sure of: when you start to rebuild the strength of your life, you will find forces immediately rise against you, both from within and outside of yourself. Resistance to God’s work in your life will be swift but when God is on the move, he causes glorious things to happen. And it doesn’t take him long to accomplish his restoration of your spirit. He only asks you to take your eyes off your circumstances, because Jesus has already won your victory.
God invites you to bring him the source of your brokenness — your hurt, your anger, your disappointment — because he wants to address it and heal it, through intimate communion with him. Ask the Holy Spirit, “Lord, be the voice of Nehemiah to me in my condition. Confront the sins I tolerate and restore my spiritual walls. Then heal the source of it all — my loneliness, my depression, my hurt. I trust you to keep me inside my safe walls, Lord. You are my victory in everything and I praise you!”