This chapter is long and consists of many names, locations, and responsibilities being performed. It would be tempting to skip it. However, even the lists in Scripture have much to teach us. If you have access to a study Bible, find a map of Jerusalem during Nehemiah’s time and observe the various walls, gates, and other locations mentioned in this text.
Questions for Reflection
1. Read Nehemiah 3:1-5. Who were the ones listed to first begin the work of rebuilding Jerusalem? What might be the significance to listing this group as the first ones to “rise up.” In the space below, list the various groups of people and what each group did.
2. There was one group listed that did not work. Who were they and how does the sentence describe them? What might have been some reasons they did not help with this building project?
3. Read Nehemiah 3:6-14. In the space below, list the various groups of people and what each group did. Locate on a map the areas in which they worked. What do you think the importance of those places was?
4. Read Nehemiah 3:15-32. In the space below, list the various groups of people and what each group did. Locate on a map the areas in which they worked. What do you think the importance of those places was?
5. Lists like the one found in this chapter can make for slow and complicated reading. However, there are lessons to learn here. What would you say are three important lessons or principles you could take from this chapter and share with others?
6. Read Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12:3-8. What are the similarities between what Paul is teaching and what you observed in Nehemiah 3? Why is this important?
7. From your answer above, what can your church learn about how to serve itself and its community? What are three points you could share with your church’s leadership team?
8. Verse 5 says the Tekoite nobles would not help. In question 2 you explored why that might be the case. Now think about your church setting. Are there some who only “take” from what the church offers but do not “give back?” It would be easy to get angry with such people. Instead of getting angry, write down some reasons they may not be helping. What are three ways you could encourage them to help serve the church and help the church serve?
9. In verse 28 we learn the priests repaired the wall near their own homes. We will learn later that Nehemiah assigned families to work on, as well as protect, the walls near their homes? What is the wisdom of that?
Back to the exercise of thinking of this chapter in terms of your own church. Put together a lesson you could teach to your church’s leadership, youth group, or Sunday school class. What would be your main theme? What are three take-away principles you could share with them? Using this chapter and the words you read from Paul, put together a lesson plan. Then pray for God to provide an opportunity for you to bless some folks with your lesson.