Nothing But Slag
Nehemiah 13:1-2 KJV On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever;  Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing.
- INTRODUCTION - THE BACKGROUND OF NEHEMIAH
- Nehemiah’s Dilemma
-This story that Nehemiah tells is a sad one in the beginning. The walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar when he had besieged Jerusalem. There had been some abortive attempts to rebuild them (Ezra 4:6-23).
-As a side note, you can read the book of Ezra in conjunction with the book of Nehemiah. Ezra’s book tells about the rebuilding of the Temple and Nehemiah is concerned with the story of the walls.
-The walls had remained in ruins for a century and a half. Because of the destroyed walls, Israel was left in state that made her susceptible to her numerous enemies that were around. Apathy, fear, discouragement, and complacency had allowed the walls to remain down far longer than what they should have been.
-One scholar (Kenyon, Digging Up, p. 170) notes:
“The effect of Jerusalem was much more disastrous and far-reaching than merely to render the city defenceless. . . The whole system of terraces down the (eastern) slope, dependent on retaining walls buttressed in turn by the fill of the next lower terrace, was ultimately dependent on the town wall at the base, forming the lowest and most substantial of the retaining walls.”
-Nehemiah comes along and appears to be the man that God has set aside for this choice job. But before Nehemiah ever got started building the wall, he had a great crisis in his heart at the condition that he saw his home in.