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People Matter in Development Matters.

Rev. Enoch Thompson | December 5, 2023 | Nehemiah 7:4-62


Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not yet been rebuilt. Nehemiah 7:4 (NIV)



The section for reflection today is one of the portions of the Bible that we run over quickly because it contains a long list of names, some of which we even find difficult to pronounce. However, the section must be read with an undressing that it shows how human resource is important in everything, especially in building the Kingdom of God.


People matter in the matter of development and so nations take time and spend a lot of money periodically to count the people in their jurisdiction and to know the different groups and professionals among their people. This information is used as the basis of planning for the people and for projecting the developmental needs of the society. In times of war, or preparation for any possibility of war this information helps the leadership of the nation to know who could be conscripted into the army and what the strength of the nation is.


Nehemiah observed the human resources of Israel and realised that “the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not yet been rebuilt.” (Neh. 7:4). The city was walled, the security of the city was assured, and in the person of Nehemiah and the godly men he appointed to serve with him, there was a viable leadership. However, the people were few. This was a matter of concern to Nehemiah because PEOPLE MATTER.


God has given every one of us some people in our lives who matter to our attainment of God’s intention for our growth and development. We must identify such people and connect well with them to benefit from them as others benefit from us in God’s intended blessings.



Who are the people God has given you in your faith walk and your life in general? Reflect to identify four or five people that you can say that God has given you as personal agents of God. Make up your mind to be a blessing to some four or five people you identify now. Decide that you will be a blessing to even strangers from this point onwards.



Dear God, I am grateful for the people you gave me along the way. For my mother who carried me in pregnancy and took care of me when I was a helpless baby. For the father who provided food, shelter and love. For the sibling who shared life and fun and family. For my teachers who taught me to read and write, for my Pastors who taught me the word of God. Lord thank you for people, even those who failed me, and thereby taught me to rely more on you.

Lord, help me to bless others and to be a positive factor in their story.

In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.


SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!! DAILY word study: PEOPLE The Hebrew word for "people" in Nehemiah 7:4 is "עַם" (am). This term generally refers to a community, a nation, or a group of people. In this specific case, it reflects the inhabitants of the city. In Hebrew, the term "עַם" (am) encapsulates a sense of unity and shared identity within a community. Throughout the Bible, "am" is frequently used to denote the people of Israel as a collective entity. It signifies a group bound together by common ancestry, history, and covenant. The usage in Nehemiah 7:4 reflects a state of depopulation in Jerusalem, highlighting the need for restoration and rebuilding.

The scarcity of people in the city signifies a significant challenge in the post-exilic period. The process of rebuilding was not just about physical structures but also about revitalizing the community. The restoration of houses and the growth of the population were interconnected aspects of the overall restoration project.


Consider the parallel between the depopulated city in Nehemiah's time and aspects of your life that might need restoration and growth. Reflect on the interconnected nature of physical and communal restoration in the biblical narrative.

How can the concept of rebuilding in your life extend beyond individual achievements to include the restoration and growth of your community or relationships?

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