God is a God of great power and ability. As a matter of fact, when we see God do one thing, He is more than likely accomplishing 10,000 things.
After being commissioned by Artaxerxes, Nehemiah set out to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. In Ancient cultures, the city wall was one of the most vital features to a successful city. Its primary function was that of protection. Invading armies could be spotted from the high towers that were placed strategically around the walls; and upon the arrival of the assailing force the massive gates could be bolted shut, effectively thwarting any would-be attacks.
Since the return of the exiled families, the city had lain vulnerable with its original wall in a state of disrepair. Now, through God’s power, Nehemiah had motivated the people to rebuild the wall.
While God was accomplishing their protection with this wall, He was simultaneously accomplishing another major thing.
In Nehemiah 3:1, the High Priest and his family rebuilt the “Sheep Gate;” in verse 15, Shallun and his family rebuilt the wall at the Pool of Siloah (Siloam).
Why mention these places by name? Why take the time to mention that they were once torn down, but now they were being rebuilt?
Galatians 4 hints that there was a whole series of events leading up to the coming of God’s Son, Jesus. The rebuilding of these places was an incredible part of that. A few centuries after these men laid stone upon stone for their own protection, God cleared the stage and pulled back the curtain for Jesus to do His Divine work.
God’s glory was revealed at the Sheep Gate in John 5, where, as the great Physician, Jesus healed a man who had been crippled for 38 years. In John 9, the man born blind was anointed with mud and sent to bathe in the Pool of Siloam where through the Divine power of Jesus he received his sight.
Nehemiah was faithful to accomplish what God had called him to. There was no way that He could have known that as he built a wall for his own protection, he was also building the grand stage for the coming Messiah.
The same God who called Nehemiah to be faithful and obedient calls us as well. While we may not see the long-term effect of our obedience, we can trust that a Sovereign God of 10,000 purposes does. We must be faithful to trust His designs and obey His desires.
Food For Thought: What attribute(s) of God leads us to believe that He is actually accomplishing multiple things when we see Him doing one thing?