How can the Lord’s people serve Him well in a time and place when those who oppose God and His people insist that everyone must give them and their demands preeminence? In the days of Nehemiah the Promised Land had become such a place. It was essential that Nehemiah and those who worked alongside him stay on message and be true to the mission that their Lord had given to them.
The wall that would provide needed security for Jerusalem was not a solo project. Each family who was engaged in this great work had an assignment that could not be ignored. The wall would only be as effective as its weakest section.
Some people who should have thought of this great work as God’s gift to them instead thought that the tasks they were being told to perform were beneath them. The nobles of the Tekoites “would not stoop to serve their Lord.” Their arrogance is recorded forever in the Scriptures. Other important people understood the moment and did their part. One man who was “ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired, he and his daughters.” What a record of faithfulness!
Important religious leaders did not exempt themselves and their families from the manual labor. “The priests … repaired.” Many families repaired the portion of the wall that was “opposite their house.” Some worked near their extended families. The names that were recorded among these servants of God may not be recognizable to us today, but it is wonderful to consider that their efforts were recorded for our benefit.
In our era the kingdom of God reaches far beyond one city or nation. Each person who believes in Jesus is called to serve in a mighty endeavor that reaches all over the earth. Widows are cared for. Orphans are protected and fed. The message of the cross is not only preached but lived out by many families who are seeking first the kingdom of God.
This great work started out with the hard labor that could only be accomplished by our great Captain. He bravely gave His life for us. Now we have the privilege of giving our lives for Him. It would be a great mistake for us to decide that something else was more worthy of our attention than our portion of the wall that the Lord has assigned to us.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Our Father, we must take a first step when we are engaged in a great work. Should we be successful in that first step, give us energy and wisdom for the next task in front of us. If we would build the wall around the city, we have no choice but to go step by step. While there are those who may consider themselves above hard work, Your men and women who love Your Name will count it a privilege to work on the mission that You have given to Your people. While each of us is weak and lacking in many important attributes, You are in the midst of Your people and are capable of using us in exciting ways. The work that You have for us is a person-to-person mission. What will we do in Your kingdom if we will not love Your people? You must fill us with the love of Christ, so that the work will move ahead in accord with Your holy will.