Songs from Nehemiah

This is the sixteenth entry in a series on Songs from the Books of the Bible.

Southern Gospel songs focus on many of the highest themes known to mankind—songs of Salvation, the Cross, the Resurrection, and eternity. But critics claim that they focus on these themes to the exclusion of other Biblical themes which are appropriate and perhaps necessary to address in song.

For how many chapters in Nehemiah can we find Southern Gospel songs addressing their themes? (I’ve added chapter summaries to spark thoughts.)

  • Chapter 1: Nehemiah discovers that Jerusalem’s wall is in ruins
  • Chapter 2: Nehemiah asks and receives permission from Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem
  • Chapter 3: Records of the builders
  • Chapter 4: Sanballat and Tobiah mock and discourage the people
  • Chapter 5: Nehemiah deals with an outcry
  • Chapter 6: Enemies try to stop Nehemiah, but the wall is completed
  • Chapter 6: Building Up the Wall (with Nehemiah) (Lulu Roman)
  • Chapter 6: I’m Building Up This Wall and I Won’t Come Down (Jim Davis / Ambassador Youth Choir)
  • Chapter 7: Lists of families
  • Chapter 8: The Law is read, and the people celebrate
  • Chapter 8:18: Joy in the Journey (McKameys)
  • Chapter 9: The Israelites remember God’s mighty works; the covenant is renewed
  • Chapter 10: Requirements of the covenant
  • Chapter 11: The plan to resettle Jerusalem
  • Chapter 12: List of Levites; dedication of the wall
  • Chapter 13: Separation from heathen; restoration of Sabbath and support for Levites

I can’t think of any. Can you?

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19 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. We need a song from Nehemiah 4:6, if there isn’t one. “So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.”

    • A Mind to Work – that could be a convicting song for people who like showing up to church on Sunday morning and not doing anything further for the local church or for the cause of Christ overall for the rest of the week!

  2. I’m not sure if it ever got recorded by a southern gospel group but Jim E Davis (The writer of Prech The Word) wrote a song called I’m Building Up This Wall And I Won’t Come Down. The first
    Verse is taken from chapter 6.

    • Do you know if Davis has recorded it himself, or if anyone else has recorded it?

    • Nehemiah 6:3 is great.

      And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?

  3. LuLu Roman recorded a song on her Orphan Girl project called “Building Up the Wall (With Nehemiah)” back in 2006.

  4. I don’t know if i was ever recorded. I think it probably was on one of his Choir’s old records but I cant be sure. It is. Song we sometimes sing in church and I just know he wrote it. Lulu Romans song Building Up The Wall is on youtube.

    • Thanks! I’ll plan to dig into it a little this evening, to see if I can find it recorded. Any chance you know the name of the choir?

  5. I actually have a couple of hooks from Nehemiah’s story sitting in my hook-book. This seems like as good a reason as any to start one of those songs…

    • Go for it! And when Karen Peck or the Talleys cut one of them, stop back and let me know to edit it in! 🙂

  6. Jim E. Davis is the choir director at Riverdale Assembly of God in Riverdale, CA. I believe the name of the choir is Ambassador Youth
    Choir. He also sang as the Jim Davis Family.

  7. I found an old Bebo account for his choir. There is a long list of songs that can be downloaded for free and Building Up The Wall is one of them. See if this link works

    • Thanks for tracking all that information down! I just added the song to the post, credited both to Davis and to the choir.

  8. Surely there is a song to be written about chapter four where the people are working with one hand and ready to fight and defend with the other.

    • You know, it’s actually rather astonishing, the extent to which you can find a dozen songs exploring themes in well-known New Testament verses, yet how many Old Testament themes lie apparently completely unexplored.

    • I love that aspect of the story. Really the whole story of Nehemiah is just chock full of amazing lessons and truths!

      • It is – and it’s so timely today, when there are so many walls that need to be rebuilt, on the personal level, and the family, church, and national levels, too!

  9. Finally! Just added “Joy in the Journey” to Nehemiah 8:18.