God Will Honor It – Part 4
“Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hananiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that. They restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall.” (Nehemiah 3:8 NIV)
In the list of those helping Nehemiah rebuild the broken wall of Jerusalem, we read about Hananiah, a maker of perfumes, who repaired a section of the wall. What? This guy made perfume and was now covering holes in a wall? Yes, and that’s not all. There was another guy who was a goldsmith, but was now working with lumber and doing heavy, manual labor as part of the building project. This shows us that when we give ourselves to God’s work, there’s no telling what God can do through us! Today, we’re not repairing broken down city walls. Now Jesus is building his church. And when we say, “God, I want to be used to build your church,” it doesn’t matter what our background is; he’ll have us doing things we can’t even imagine! It goes beyond our skill set. It has to do with God equipping us for what he has called us to do.
What did Uzziel do for a living? He was a goldsmith. Hananiah was a maker of perfumes. (And notice that the only reason we know their names is because God honored them for their work by putting their names in the Bible!) But that’s what they did for a living. By their actions, they were saying, “That’s what we do to support ourselves, but this… this is God’s work. We’re going to fix that wall!” God doesn’t want everyone to leave their jobs in order to build his church. You may be a doctor, a lawyer, a homemaker, but remember: that’s what unbelievers do too. The question isn’t “What are you doing for a living?” It’s “What are you doing to build up the wall? What are you doing to build up the church?”
Some Christians have grown up in church or have been going to church for decades, yet they give so little to the cause of Christ. Isn’t that a shame? Jesus saved us and separated us so he would have some soldiers here on earth—so we could be his hands extended. Wouldn’t it be terrible if we just wanted to be saved, but not used of God to continue his work here on earth? What kind of Christianity is that? The reason the Church grew so much in the first century after Christ was that they had no such division of labor where there was a professional clergy tasked with doing the work themselves. What the Bible tells us is that every single believer said, “How can I build the church? How can I talk, share, give, pray, go? Who knows how God could use me if I say, ‘Lord, I want to build your church’?” In the same manner, who knows how God could use you and me today, to go beyond our limitations, beyond our capacity, beyond ourselves, and do something that is considered great in the eyes of God with value for all eternity?
Read Nehemiah 3:8-14.