Reading through the Bible together
One would have thought that people would flock to Jerusalem now that the Temple and the walls were completed. But that was not the case. Leaders lived in Jerusalem (verse 1), but the rest of the people seemed reluctant to live there. Verse 2 records that the people blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to live in Jerusalem.
God had instructed Moses to build Him a sanctuary so that He may dwell among His people. Why would people not choose to dwell where the Temple was so they could dwell near the presence of God? With fenced walls, Jerusalem was now much more secure to live there. So why did people not flock to live inside?
Food for thought: (1) Could it be that to live closer to the presence of God put a stricter life style of holiness on the people and many may not have been comfortable with that? (2) Could it be that when they would be inside Jerusalem, their acts were more closely watched and they were expected to conform to the will of God? For example, they could not buy or sell on Sabbath (Nehemiah 13:15-17).
“Father, may we realize as never before that Your presence is always a place of safety to us.”
General Vice President