Those little phrases “next to him” and “after him” repeated so often in Nehemiah 3 paint a picture not simply of walls being rebuilt, but of a human wall doing the work. Nehemiah 3 vividly describes how many different hands are involved in the task of rebuilding. God isn’t just using these people to rebuild a great structure; as they labor, God is also making them strong together. God delights in using our collaboration and teamwork to build what He calls good.

In Nehemiah’s situation, it was good to build walls and gates; in our day, God is building His church. May we do this work next to one another, with one another, and for one another’s ultimate good through Christ.