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REPOPULATING THE HOLY CITY

Daily Devotional Nehemiah 11:1–36


My wife and I have lived in four different States during our marriage, and each move became increasingly complex. The most recent, from central Louisiana to northern Idaho, was the most difficult because we had three children in tow. Moving an entire family is a far cry from packing up a single car and hitting the road! The people in today’s passage experienced something similar as they uprooted their lives in the countryside to move into the city of Jerusalem.


In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

PROVERBS 16:9


I really don’t blame you if you skip over all the names in today’s reading. We’ve already seen several such lists of names in Nehemiah, and this isn’t even the last one! What I think is important in today’s passage is that it shows the people’s commitment to follow through in reestablishing Jerusalem, even when it meant leaving their home and moving their families to a new city. They had already banded together to rebuild the city’s walls, but as anyone who has been on a short-term mission trip knows, staying a short time to help complete a task is much different from moving your entire family to live there.


Short-term missionary work is inconvenient, to be sure, but at the end of your trip you get to return home to your comfortable bed. Long-term missionaries are just that—long-term. They have decided to make their lives in a new and likely much different place. It certainly isn’t easy, but missionaries feel so strongly called by God that they give up their “normal” lives to build a life in an unfamiliar place. This passage is not about missionaries, it is about making big changes and taking big risks to obey God.


>> Seek the Lord and ask if He is calling you to leave your comfortable life and move to a new place to serve Him there. Before you make any plans, ask God to determine your next steps!


Pray with Us


You don’t call us to live difficult lives for the sake of difficulty. But for the sake of Your glory, You do often call Your servants into difficult circumstances. May we find joy in obedience and security in Your guidance.

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