Thursday, December 20, 2007

Nehemiah 3: Workers Are Few

And next to them the Tekoites repaired, but their nobles would not stoop to serve their Lord. (Neh 3:5)

Last week we finished Chapter 2, where Nehemiah had unveiled God's vision for rebuilding the wall and therefore Jerusalem. He further sealed the deal with the people by giving personal testimony of how God's hand had been with him to secure the king's favor and resources for the job.

The people responded by saying they would join him in the rebuilding. In other words, they caught the vision and were enthusiastic to join Nehemiah in the hard work ahead. This is significant given the history of failed attempts at that point to rebuild the wall and Jerusalem.

Chapter 3 is interesting because it's basically a list of names, I think someone counted about 37 of them...that could be wrong, but is probably close. Think of this as a list of volunteers or lay leaders that have taken up God's cause to rebuild. Nehemiah has given them all assignments and each of these lay leaders have also given the vision to their families and servants to take up the task of rebuilding the wall.

It was great to see that assignments were given out by a person's passion or if that person had a stake in that section of the wall. The priests were given the Sheep Gate, because traditionally that is where the sheep given for sacrifice and their portion enter. So you know they will build that portion of the wall well. Towards the end of the chapter families were given portions of the wall near their home. Likewise you can see them building well there.

This is a beautiful picture of how the Church should function. God has given a Senior Pastor and Elders a vision and the congregation embraces that and according to passion and/or giftedness fills in the needs...aka goes to work/volunteers gladly.

Sadly verse 5 is too often true. There are those who will not stoop to serve the Lord for whatever reason. Pride? Sure just like the nobles. Past hurts? Sure just like the people who are volunteering here had heard it before, "Let's rebuild!" then "Nope we have to stop."

We finished the night praying:

1. First praise the Lord for those that have taken the call and work their portion of the wall with vigor and passion. May the Lord sustain each and every one.

2. That the congregation of CalvarySLO, especially the men, would rise up and lead just as the men listed in Chapter 3 did. And that the Lord would use KingomBuilders to call and equip men towards that end.

3. The good hand of the Lord would be upon CalvarySLO to spread the good news that ultimate pleasure can only be found in God's greatness.