Ground Zero (Nehemiah 8:7-8)

During my family practice elective in Pohnpei, Micronesia, the island was afflicted with a whooping cough epidemic. It was public health crisis and I was at ground zero. With close living conditions and poor hygiene, the cases were multiplying and overwhelming the limited health care resources we had on the island. The medical director of the hospital where I worked seized control and issued a directive.


Every health care worker was mobilized as we set up a massive screening station outside the hospital. Working through the familial ties all of the workers, nearly the entire island’s pediatric population was brought to us.  For hours, we took nasal swab cultures and sent them to the University of Hawaii to be analyzed by the public health department. Meanwhile, other workers manned a complex supply chain distributing antibiotics to stricken children and triaging the very ill to the hospital. Additional workers assisted with patient education, instructing the families with proper hygiene and preventive care with vaccination. The rest of the population supported all of us with meals and transportation. Within a few weeks, the epidemic was contained and the crisis resolved. The entire population participated. It was magnificent!


Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law, while the people remained in their places. They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

Nehemiah 8:7-8 (ESV)


The Jews were granted a return to Jerusalem after seventy years of exile in Babylon. They found the city walls in ruin, leaving the once mighty city defenseless. Nehemiah organized the returning Jews by tribes and families and oversaw the rebuilding of the wall. Meanwhile, the threat of attacks from hostile neighbors was a constant threat and half of the workers were needed to stand guard, sword in hand to defend the city. In fifty two days, the wall was completed. It was an astounding accomplishment and Nehemiah knew what needed to be done next. He gathered the entire population before one of the restored gates and had the Word of God read aloud by Ezra the scribe. It was ground zero of this physical and spiritual

restoration and it was more than fitting that God be praised at that spot. Everyone who had worked together to restore the wall was now worshipping God by standing and reading the Word, assisted by dozens of teachers who interpreted and helped the people understand what they heard.
Like the entire population of Pohnpei that was mobilized to successfully resolve the epidemic, the entire population of Jerusalem came together to restore the city walls. God blessed their efforts and preserved the Jews. Even when thanking and worshipping God, it was a group effort.


When God directs us to accomplish a task, He will ensure its completion and success to bless us and establish His glory!


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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