So we built the wall and the whole wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.
– Nehemiah 4:6, NASB
It may come as a surprise that there is an entire book of the Bible dedicated to building a wall, but that is the story of Nehemiah.
With God’s help, Nehemiah re-builds a wall around Jerusalem. (He even gets the Persian emperor to pay for it!) In the process, he also rebuilds the self-respect of the people of Israel. Running throughout the book is the rejection of Israelites just being another people, for that way lies cultural suicide. He actively drove out foreigners and re-instituted the religious traditions and obligations of Israel. You can start to see the reasons there are still Israelites to this day.
Now, it’s also interesting that much of the book is driven by the demand that people take responsibility for their nation. Many, many times they are asked to pitch in labor for the wall, resources for the temple, and otherwise step up. There are lists of people who stood up for Israel thousands of years ago, memorialized for all time in the most widely printed book ever. I doubt they expected such recognition, but they were not working in purely human endeavor. Unlike modern walls, this wall protected Zion, where the temple to the Creator of the Universe was located – the only place on Earth where you could worship Almighty God. Guarding that was certainly worth recognition.
I think we can all agree with the last recorded words of Nehemiah.
Remember me, O my God, for good.