READ Nehemiah 3
Have you ever reached a list of names in the BIble and been tempted to skip the page? Be honest. Sometimes these endless lists seem excessive, irrelevant. But they aren’t. God never wastes words. Inside every list of names is a treasure trove of theology waiting to be discovered. But that aside, the very act of God listing names says something about him – he takes note of you. A person who may go unnoticed in their community gets immortalized in the pages of scripture, because even if the world forgets their life, God will not.
So in Nehemiah 3 we find another one of God’s lists and there discover that God really values our work.
Every person who puts their hand to the plough is recorded because their work is a fragrant sacrifice to God. So is yours. Sometimes man can overlook our service. That can be disheartening and if we aren’t careful it can become an access point for bitterness. In those times we must remember that God takes pleasure in our effort. It delights him.
So God takes his pen in Nehemiah and records the names. And as he writes, a story of communal dedication and self-sacrifice emerges. Along the way, God adds important little nuggets like, “Uzziel… one of the goldsmiths,” and “Hananiah, one of the perfume-makers,” These additional facts help us understand just how much these men gave up. Perfumers and goldsmiths were among the wealthy and respected of the day. They were doing just fine without the walls. And yet they sacrificed their lucrative careers to build God’s kingdom instead of their own.
Later God pens these words, “Shallum… with the help of his daughters”. Women in that day were under no obligation to help in this physical task. But these girls didn’t use their gender as an excuse not to help. They laid down excuses for the sake of the kingdom.
So must we. We are called with a high calling, not to build our kingdom, but his, and in order to do that we will have to lay down our rights, our resources and our excuses, but in return, Heaven will take notice.
Lord, may my life be noteworthy for the sake of the kingdom. Amen.