God Will Honor It – Part 3
“The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.” (Nehemiah 3:5 NIV)
In Nehemiah’s day, the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem was a joint project. All the way around the city, everyone was working together. Everyone had their part to do in this project aimed at rebuilding what the Babylonians had destroyed years before; and God had all of their names included in the Bible to honor their work. Interestingly, God also included a reference to those who refused to do the work, for the Bible says that the nobles of Tekoa “would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.” May the Lord never have to say that about any of us as it concerns the work of the Lord!
Perhaps the nobles of Tekoa thought, “Hey, we’re the leading men in the city. We’re too big to do something menial like this. Let someone else do it!” It could also be that they didn’t want anyone to tell them what to do, for the Bible says that they would not do the work under their supervisors. It’s possible that they thought, “Nobody is going to tell me what to do. I’ll move as I feel led to move.” And they didn’t contribute to the work, so God said, “Put it in the Bible. I don’t just want to honor the people who are doing the work; I want mentioned those who wouldn’t do the work!” This should be a lesson for all of us.
Today, Jesus is building his church, and the whole body of Christ is called to be a part of this great building project that has value, not only for the here and now, but also for eternity. Perhaps there are those who don’t want to put their shoulder to the wheel because they feel that some of that work is beneath them. “What? We’re going to feed people from the shelters? I don’t do that. I wasn’t raised around those kinds of people.” Others may think, “Tell people about Jesus? No, I’m not going to risk getting laughed at.” Still others don’t get involved because they don’t want to submit to authority. That’s the story of some churches: they never grow or can be a blessing to their community, because everyone is doing what they want to do; so Jesus’ building project suffers. The truth is that those who would be leaders in God’s house need to be able to follow orders, because promotion comes from the Lord; and when he sees that you can submit to the authority that’s over you, then he can trust you with authority over others.
Just think: Jesus gave his life for us, and he saw something in us that he could use to build his kingdom, yet we won’t build his church? I don’t know what that will mean in eternity, but imagine the Lord saying one day, “I sent my Son to die for them, and I was building my church and people with all kinds of problems needed to hear about me and needed prayer, but no one would go and do the work.” In the New Testament letter to the Hebrews, the writer admonishes the believers, saying—and I’m paraphrasing—“You’ve been receiving teaching for so long, that you should be teaching others, but you have never come to the place where you can help people, where you’re mature enough to help someone. You’re always on life support.” (See Hebrews 5:12). Wouldn’t it be a blessing to the work of the Lord, and to us, if instead of always receiving, we could all tell someone today, “I may not be perfect, but I’m going to help you walk with Jesus. I’m going to pray for what you’re going through; and I have faith to believe that what he’s done for me, he’s going to do for you!”