Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired the next section. Next to him Meshullam son of Berekiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs, and next to him Zadok son of Baana also made repairs. Nehemiah 3:4 In the 7th Century BC, princes and overlords of mainland China began to build high walls on their borders, and high mountain watchtowers to defend their states against invasion from other warring states, before the unification of China. What is now known as the Great Wall of China took over 2,000 years to be built by many imperial dynasties and kingdoms. It took 200 years for the Ming dynasty to build the last portion of the wall. City walls were critical for the safety and security of city-states. In antiquity, a city without walls was destined for destruction. Its people would often be taken into captivity or slaughtered. That is why when Nehemiah was told that the walls of Jerusalem were torn down, he wanted to rebuild it. Rebuilding the wall had socio-political-cultural significance for Nehemiah and the remnant of Jerusalem. The broken wall impacted the people psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. Without the wall, their worship was dysfunctional, their confidence was shattered, and their hope was gone. After Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work to rebuild the Sheep Gate (v. 1), Hassenaah rebuilt the Fish Gate. Then Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired the next section. The word for repairs is the Hebrew word chazaq, used 35 times in this chapter alone. It has the idea of strengthening, encouraging, of making something strong (Kidner). Paul uses that same word in Ephesians 4:12, to remind the saints in Ephesus that the purpose of the church is for the equipping of the saints. The idea behind equipping is to prepare, strengthen, and make something able to be used. Some translations use the word perfecting, which I like, but does not necessarily reflect the etymological connection with the word chazaq. Most people have broken walls in their lives that they need to repair. Your broken wall may be a relationship, or a career, or your finances, or your relationship with God. Someone asked me at Bible study, “what if what is broken needs to stay broken?” My answer to that is that there should not be any brokenness in the life of the believer. We are kingdom builders. A builder cannot thrive around brokenness. Whatever wall which is broken in your life needs to be repaired. Repairing walls is hard work. Forgiving that person who has hurt you and reaching out to let him or her know that you forgave them is hard work. Repairing your finances, or business, or marriage, or career is hard work. You will be tested and pushed beyond your comfort zone to repair (chazaq) whatever that is broken in your life. But doing so will not only bless you, it will encourage others to repair (chazaq) the broken walls in their lives.
There are three things we need to do to repair the broken walls in our lives. First, we must pray for the courage to forgive, and the strength to get over the hurt or brokenness we experienced. Second, we must follow God's timing. We should let God tell us when to start repairing those broken walls. Otherwise, we may try too early or wait too late for the repair to be effective. Third, we must be obedient. That may require some of us to let go of our pride and arrogance so we can walk in reconciliation with humility. Notice, if you will, the men that helped to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem were not professional builders. Some of them were perfume makers, or butchers, or priests, or goldsmiths, or merchants. All it takes to repair broken walls is a willing spirit and a prayerful disposition. If you pray as Nehemiah did, God will give you the courage to rebuild your broken wall. Then you will have a testimony that will inspire and empower others to live victorious lives in Christ Jesus. Prayer- Blessed Lord, please give us the courage to repair the broken walls in our lives.