Nehemiah 11 – Devotional

Nehemiah 11 – Devotional

Posted on 4 May 2024

The temple at Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians. When the Persians became the new rulers, they allowed the Jews to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. The rebuilding was completed some 50 years before Nehemiah went to Jerusalem to repair the city wall. The wall when repaired provided some security for the temple and for the city.

However, only a small group of leaders lived in Jerusalem while the rest of the people lived in towns further afield. The city needed to be re-populated to ensure the long-term safety, sustainability and growth of Jerusalem. Thus, the people agreed that just as they give one-tenth of their resources to the Lord, one tenth of them will relocate to Jerusalem.

Those who would be chosen to go to Jerusalem must leave their own towns to go to an undeveloped and relatively bare city. As an agrarian society that depended heavily on human labour, their departure would reduce the available labour their families at home would have. It was a sacrifice for the individual and the family to be chosen to relocate to live in Jerusalem. However, they went willingly, understanding the need to protect Jerusalem and seeing their relocation as part of their service to the Lord.

The new settlers in Jerusalem were from different backgrounds and with various skills that were mostly not directly related to the functions of the temple. Yet, their presence in the city was as important as the team of dedicated priests and Levites who were especially assigned to serve in the temple because, for each of them, relocating to Jerusalem was their act of service to God. 

The way the people responded to the need to repopulate Jerusalem is an encouragement to us that whatever our professions or skills, we do it all as a service to God. Even though our skills may not appear to be directly related to a ‘religious’ function, our work is just as important because it is our service for God.

Written by Mr. Ajit Hazra


For Personal Reflection or Group Discussion

  1. Read Nehemiah 11:1-12:26 as an individual or in a group. What do the group of residents and their vocations tell you about the nature of the City of God?

  2. God has placed us where we are for His purposes. What are some possible ministry opportunities at your current marketplace, arena(s) and platform(s)? How might you go about doing it?

  3. Wherever you are, regardless of your status, God can use you as long as you are willing. What is the one thing that you can see yourself doing right now to advance the values of God’s City?


Preacher: Rev Anthony Phua
Series: Band Together
Topic: Living in God’s City as We Band Together
Verses: Nehemiah 11: 1 – 12: 26

The sermon will be livestreamed at the 10am English Service on Sunday, 5 May 2024.

Read the other devotionals in our Nehemiah sermon series.