I called my daughter Christine this morning to ask her had she ever seen the TV show “I Almost Got Away with It.” She said yes and explained the basic concept of individuals who thought they had gotten away with the “perfect crime,” only to find out they were eventually caught due to some type of oversight. No, I have not committed a crime, but I almost got away with ignoring chapter 3 in our study of Nehemiah. You see, I usually ignore chapters listing genealogies–boring, boring, boring. But this time I got caught–caught by the Holy Spirit. So today I’m delaying our scheduled assignment and backtracking to take a closer look at chapter 3. I was amazed at the treasures I found in a list of people.
You’ve heard the expression “It Takes a Village.” Our friend Nehemiah was on a “mission impossible,” or so it seemed. God had given him the vision to see the walls of the city of Jerusalem, his hometown, restored. God had supplied the necessary resources and sent Nehemiah on his way. After arriving at his destination, Nehemiah checked out the ruins. His goal? To rally the Jews, the priests, the nobles, officials and their families. He shared the vision and told them God was with them. He said, “Let us rise up and build.” Nehemiah organized the workers, assigning leaders and their families to repair sections of the wall in front of their homes. Brilliant!
Those families were listed by names. God remembered the specific gates they repaired and honored their willingness to use their gifts and talents to get the job done. No job was too small and no person was too important to serve. What teamwork! What a strong sense of community! And I almost missed it!
What has God been saying to you? Know that He honors your sacrifice, your willingness to do anything to get the job done. While we do not seek the accolades of men, know that our actions motivate others to serve faithfully. Let us look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, who inspired unity through humility.
Memory Verse: “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, have the same love, being of one accord, of one mind (Philipians 2:1-2, NKJV).
I’m glad the Holy Spirit didn’t let me get away with ignoring the long list of names and tasks in chapter 3 of Nehemiah. Now we can go back and review WEEK SIX assignment: Chapter 4: 1- 9. Continue to use the GROW METHOD in your study and go deeper through additional tools.
G- God first. Pray for understanding.
R- Read the assigned passage.
O- Observe key words and phrases.
W- Write 3-5 sentences summarizing your thoughts.