Nehemiah is one of my favourite Biblical characters. He was cupbearer to King Artaxerxes in Babylon, which was a very responsible job. He had a real heart for his people who had been in exile there, and had now returned to their own land.
He had news that the walls of the city of Jerusalem were in a terrible state, and needed to be repaired. He had permission from the King to go back to his people to help with the rebuilding. He was a real encouragement to them in the work and motivated them to get the job finished. This was despite opposition to the work.
He was a man of prayer too. Whilst he was in the middle of challenges and difficulties he sent up “arrow prayers” to the Lord for his help. He also prayed longer prayers when he needed to.
Even though he was a man of God and had great success, what he achieved was only temporary. Despite his motivating, the people soon turned away from the Lord. This points forward to the permanent work of Jesus. He came not to rebuild walls which could be taken down again, but Salvation once and for all. His death and resurrection meant that lives could be rebuilt eternally.
Nehemiah was great, Jesus was greater!