One of my favorite books of the Bible is Nehemiah. There we see several principles of how to succeed in a crisis. The Israelites had been exiled for many years. The walls of Jerusalem had been torn down and there was a desperate need to rebuild the walls. There was indeed a crisis. How would the people respond?
Nehemiah heard about the condition of the broken down walls of Jerusalem, and Neh.1:4 says, “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”
In many ways, our nation is broken down because of the coronavirus pandemic. People are hurting physically, emotionally and economically. It should be enough to cause us sorrow and lead us to prayer.
After Nehemiah prayed, he went to work. He asked the king for permission to go and rebuild the walls. The king said, “Yes”. He then asked some Jewish leaders for their help. Neh.2:17-18 says, “Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” “…They replied, “let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.”
After we pray, we need to get to work. And, if we really hope to accomplish anything significant, we have to get other people to help us. We need to recruit others to join us in the Lord’s work. With so many people in America hurting in so many ways, there is plenty of the Lord’s work to be done!
So they started rebuilding the wall. Section by section, often working together as family units, they tackled this important project. Neh.3:8 points out that even goldsmiths and perfume-makers helped with the construction. I’ll bet those guys got blisters where they had never had them before!
It is interesting to see those who are working outside their field of expertise to battle the coronavirus. Automobile makers started producing ventilators for those who were seriously ill. A pillow manufacturer started making masks. Distilleries are producing hand sanitizer. Maybe you will have a chance to do something important that you have never done before!
There was opposition to the building project. (See chapters 4 and 6). Any time you are doing something important for the Lord, you can expect opposition. But the Israelites succeeded. They finished the project. The walls of Jerusalem were completely restored.
Someday this pandemic will be behind us. We will defeat it! But in the meantime, there is still a lot to be done. So let’s pray and get to work!