The people recognized that their city of Jerusalem was in trouble. Its gates were ruined and its walls were broken down. When they heard the vision God had given His servant Nehemiah to rebuild, they caught the vision and said, “Let us rise up and build.”
Whenever God wants to get a work done, He lays hold of a people who are willing to rise up. The walls of Jerusalem had been ruined; a small remnant had returned; and there was much work that needed to be done. In 536 BC, Zerubbabel had taken about 50,000 Jews back and by 516 BC had rebuilt the temple. In 457 BC, there had been a small revival under Ezra, but now it was 445 BC, and God was looking for someone to go to the ruined city and restore safety and order. Nehemiah was that person. In the book of Nehemiah, God caused Nehemiah to rise up and catch a vision for his city, Jerusalem.