And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel. – Nehemiah 8:1
After the miraculous rebuilding effort of the walls of Jerusalem, the people were so strongly unified that Nehemiah says that they were as “one man.” It is amazing how hard work and trial will bring people together.
Even more amazing was the cause for their gathering. They were gathered together for church and were prompting Ezra to get out a Bible and preach to them. There was nothing like we see so often today where men of God are being blessed to preach the gospel in power but to half empty buildings. No leader forced these people to come together and listen against their will. The people felt the blessing of God on them in their work, and now they wanted to worship!
Do we lack zeal in our worship today? Is this idea of unity foreign to us? Perhaps it is because we have lived too comfortably for too long. Perhaps we need to seek the benefit of the kingdom of God (our home church) more than our own personal pleasure or peace. Perhaps we need to realize that the spiritual walls in our lives need some rebuilding work. We may be in danger and just not see it because we are blinded by worldly comforts. Or perhaps, we have made allies with the world like the arrogant nobles did with Sanballat and Tobiah.
The people came together in a “grand homecoming” for the benefit of one another and, more importantly, for the glory of God. The result was a strong desire to devote themselves to God in worship. This is the result of having vested interest in the kingdom!