Repairing The Walls

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Nehemiah chapter three is one of those chapters that we are prone to skip over because of all of the names. I pray that you don't do this in your reading. As we read and apply the text to our lives today (Rom. 15:4), whether or not we pronounce the names correctly isn't the point. The point is to understand what was happening and how this affected the nation of Judah.

First, we see that when Nehemiah encouraged the people to “build up the wall of Jerusalem,” the people responded by saying, “let us rise up and build” (Neh. 2:17-18)! Nehemiah three records that these people were more than just “talk”! They went into action! They didn’t allow days and months to go by before they started. They started repairing the walls immediately!

A second thing we see is that these people did the work in pieces that could be handled by each respective family. One family didn’t rebuild one-half of the wall or take on more than they could handle. Each family took a section that they could handle and began the work! There was much to do, and as the old saying goes, “Many hands make for light work.” This was the case here. All the people united in a common goal and made the work much easier to handle.

Nehemiah 3:12 mentions the fact that Shallum’s daughters worked with their father to help rebuild the walls. I think this is significant. These daughters deserve special praise for the work they did in helping to finish a job that God wanted them to do.

I hope that these statements will stir our minds to make applications to ourselves. No, we don’t have a wall to rebuild, but we do have work to do in God’s kingdom (I Cor. 15:58). We have daily work that needs to be done, and we need to make the effort! It’s one thing to “talk” about what needs to be done in the Lord’s kingdom, and it’s quite another thing to do it (Jas. 2:18-26)! Examine yourself, friend. Are you active in the Lord’s service, or are you just good at pointing out what needs to be done? Don’t be like the Pharisees (Matt. 23:3-4)!

Similarly, let’s remember that we all have work to do in the Lord’s kingdom (Gal. 6:9). It’s not laid at the feet of the preacher or elders or deacons alone. Yes, these men have work to be done in God’s kingdom just as everyone else does! We mustn’t shirk our duties, though, thinking someone else will do them. Our lack of action may be the point of weakness that Satan needs to tear down and destroy a life, or a family, or a church! Don’t be the weak link!

Just as Shallum’s daughters went out and worked as the sons did, let’s remember that in Christ, we are all one (Gal. 3:28). Yes, we have different roles to fulfill at times, but everyone who is a child of God is loved and respected by God and needs to be busy in His work! Far from being misogynistic, Paul speaks highly of his sisters in Christ. Let’s encourage our sisters and our brothers in the Lord to do the work God demands.

You won’t get out of this world alive, but you can leave this world ready for the next. Are you ready (II Cor. 6:2)? What do you need to do to get ready (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38)? Do as the Jews in Nehemiah’s day did (Neh. 3). Stop wasting time and get busy with the Lord’s work!

- Jarrod M. Jacobs

Mordecai's Oversight

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Please read Esther 2:11, 19, and 10:1-3. In these passages, we read of Mordecai’s love and oversight for those who were in his charge, first for his cousin, Esther, and later when he had oversight of his nation.

While Esther prepared to meet the king, Mordecai stayed as close as possible so he could see to her welfare and do what he could to help her. Years later, when awarded a place of power, we see him still looking out for the best interests, not of one person, but an entire nation. The Jews were not going to suffer at the hands of a tyrant again if he could help it!

Observing Mordecai’s growth in Esther two and ten reminds me of what Jesus taught in the parable of the talents. To the five and two talent men, the master told them, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things” (Matt. 25:21, 23). It was because these men proved themselves wise with less that they were eventually given more responsibility. We can see a similar truth with Mordecai. He started with caring for one person, but he ultimately rose to a position of seeking the well-being of his nation.

It is the same in the church. For example, men desiring to be elders must first show they can rule their own houses well, and raise faithful children before they can have the responsibility of overseeing a congregation (I Tim. 3:4-5; Titus 1:6). Though not identical, deacons have similar expectations (I Tim. 3:12).

We must start “small” and grow in the Lord. Are you growing (I Pet. 2:2; Heb. 5:12-14)? What goals do you have for spiritual growth in 2020?