“So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.” (Nehemiah 4:6 NKJV)
Nehemiah, contemporary of Ezra and cupbearer to the king in the Persian palace, leads the third and last return to Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. His concern for the welfare of Jerusalem and its inhabitants prompts him to take bold action. Granted permission to return to his homeland, Nehemiah challenges his countrymen to arise and rebuild the shattered walls of Jerusalem. In spite of opposition from without and abuse from within, the task is completed in only fifty-two days, a feat even the enemies of Israel must attribute to God's enabling. By contrast the task of reviving and reforming the people of God within the rebuilt wall demands years of Nehemiah's godly example and persistent leadership.
The greatest obstacle to rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem was the people. For Nehemiah just getting them started was his greatest task, but once they started they caught the vision of what God could do through their efforts. Remember, "...the people had a mind to work." When we set our mind to the task of working and serving God, we too can build the Kingdom of God.