Monday, October 29, 2012

building with teams

Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and set its doors. They consecrated it as far as the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Tower of Hananel.
Nehemiah 3:1

The third chapter of Nehemiah is a construction planning worker resource list. It recounts the entire project through the various teams and their stations around the perimeter of the wall. Some built the wall while others concentrated on rebuilding gates. This was a large project needing lots of manpower and strategic supervision.

The passage begins with priests themselves focusing on the work around the area of the wall closest to the temple. They repaired the wall, gates, and towers that bordered the areas around the temple. This was more than mere symbolism. This showed the nation just how serious the project was. It was more than a rebuilding of infrastructure. It had spiritual purpose. That is why the priests lent their backs and hands to this effort. This was spiritual leadership at its grittiest and finest. I believe it helped keep everyone else on task.

You can look at a map of Jerusalem in the time of Nehemiah and see that the city had roughly a key shape. The square "head" of the key was the Temple Mount. The "tail" of the key flowed down from this along the Kidron Valley to the east, turned around the old "City of David" district before turning back up along the Central Valley to the Temple Mount again. Each section of the wall had unique challenges. This is why the division of the labor into concentrated teams was vital to the success of the overall project. Each team conquered unique challenges and in the end the entire wall was built.

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