Oct. 3, 2017
LET IT GLOW
Sometimes we get settled in a house, community, church, way of life and do not want to move when the Lord directs us to move. I have even cried when the ministry resulted in us leaving those we learned to love as family. However, as we got settled into new place, we formed those strong relationships there, also. Evidently, the Jews did not have any problem in settling in another place, Jerusalem.
Jerusalem had a Temple for worship and a wall around the city. What was it lacking? It needed more settlers, increasing in population and housing. For 140 years this city had lain in utter ruin after the Babylonians destruction. Most of the returnees had settled outside of Jerusalem, on their family owned land. The leaders already lived in the holy city.
What was Nehemiah's solution?
- They cast lots, noting 1 out of 10 citizens would choose to live in Jerusalem, while the rest remained in the villages and other cities. (verse 1) Lots were stones marked, so the outcome would be considered the will of God.
- Volunteers to move to Jerusalem were sought. They willingly offered themselves in verse 2.
Within the list are the sons of Perez. That name rang a bell, so I looked at Matthew 1, where the descendants of David and Jesus are listed. Sure enough, Perez was one of them listed there. Don't you love it when God's plan comes together? How important was this family of Judah, that God kept them together.
All of this clean up and redoing in Jerusalem reminds me of the many cities effected by hurricanes, floods, and fires in our own country down through the years. Our people banded together and did what they had to do to rebuild. Love and support has been seen and sent to those in need. Christians rise up to the needs of their brethren. Lives are changed. Are we a part of this?
LET IT GROW
The tribe of Benjamin family leaders are listed in verse 7-9. These descendants totaled 928 men who were led by a chief officer named Joel and his assistant Judah.
Then we read of the priestly families who settled in Jerusalem (verses 10-14). Evidently, the priests were divided into 3 groups with various tasks in the Temple. The total number was 1,192. Priestly families were committed as the priest was devoted to the Lord and His house. The family of pastors serving in each of our communities are need of prayer and encouragement. Are we praying for them daily? They meet the same challenges of life as others do.
Did you gather that the Jews were willing and determined to serve the Lord as He led? Through relocation they served. Did they leave it up to others? No, they took the risks of enemies attacking there. Will we be the 1 out of 10 willing to go where He leads? Are we walking by faith?
Luke quotes Jesus in 14:33, So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.
LET IT GO
Be careful not to get too settled in that I am not open to moving as the Lord leads in relocation.
Pray for our leaders.