“From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. And the leaders stood behind the whole house of Judah, who were building on the wall. Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other… So we labored at the work, and half of them held the spears from the break of dawn until the stars came out. I also said to the people at that time, ‘Let every man and his servant pass the night within Jerusalem, that they may be a guard for us by night and may labor by day.’ So neither I nor my brothers nor my servants nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us took off our clothes; each kept his weapon at his right hand.” (Nehemiah 4:16-17, 21-23 ESV)
It was apparent that the Lord had a mission for Nehemiah to complete. Nehemiah was prepared and established a plan to protect his people while they were doing the Lord’s work. The ESV Study Bible points out that “though Nehemiah and the people prayed and trusted God for protection, they also kept their weapons close at hand, ready to defend themselves from attack; God often accomplishes his purposes through ordinary human means”.
The title of this blog is The Gate Keeper. After reading this passage from Nehemiah you can see where I got the name from. In biblical times large magnificent walls protected both the temple and the people within Jerusalem. The gate was the passageway to allow entry into and out of the city. The walls kept away enemies and provided comfort to those it protected. Similarly, in present days when you establish a zone of protection at your church, synagogue, or religious institution you are establishing yourself as the Gate Keeper for our local congregations.
Photo By: Brian J Gallagher
Gate in Dublin, Ireland