A daily devotion for August 6th
1 Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel. 2 The men of Jericho built the adjoining section, and Zaccur son of Imri built next to them.
3 The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place. 4 Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired the next section. Next to him Meshullam son of Berekiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs, and next to him Zadok son of Baana also made repairs. 5 The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.
6 The Jeshanah Gate was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place. 7 Next to them, repairs were made by men from Gibeon and Mizpah—Melatiah of Gibeon and Jadon of Meronoth—places under the authority of the governor of Trans-Euphrates. 8 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. 9 Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section. 10 Adjoining this, Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house, and Hattush son of Hashabneiah made repairs next to him. 11 Malkijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-Moab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens. 12 Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters.
13 The Valley Gate was repaired by Hanun and the residents of Zanoah. They rebuilt it and put its doors and bolts and bars in place. They also repaired five hundred yards of the wall as far as the Dung Gate.
14 The Dung Gate was repaired by Malkijah son of Recab, ruler of the district of Beth Hakkerem. He rebuilt it and put its doors and bolts and bars in place.
15 The Fountain Gate was repaired by Shallun son of Col-Hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah. He rebuilt it, roofing it over and putting its doors and bolts and bars in place. He also repaired the wall of the Pool of Siloam, by the King's Garden, as far as the steps going down from the City of David. 16 Beyond him, Nehemiah son of Azbuk, ruler of a half-district of Beth Zur, made repairs up to a point opposite the tombs of David, as far as the artificial pool and the House of the Heroes.
17 Next to him, the repairs were made by the Levites under Rehum son of Bani. Beside him, Hashabiah, ruler of half the district of Keilah, carried out repairs for his district. 18 Next to him, the repairs were made by their countrymen under Binnui son of Henadad, ruler of the other half-district of Keilah. 19 Next to him, Ezer son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, repaired another section, from a point facing the ascent to the armory as far as the angle. 20 Next to him, Baruch son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section, from the angle to the entrance of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 21 Next to him, Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired another section, from the entrance of Eliashib's house to the end of it.
22 The repairs next to him were made by the priests from the surrounding region. 23 Beyond them, Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs in front of their house; and next to them, Azariah son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, made repairs beside his house. 24 Next to him, Binnui son of Henadad repaired another section, from Azariah's house to the angle and the corner, 25 and Palal son of Uzai worked opposite the angle and the tower projecting from the upper palace near the court of the guard. Next to him, Pedaiah son of Parosh 26 and the temple servants living on the hill of Ophel made repairs up to a point opposite the Water Gate toward the east and the projecting tower. 27 Next to them, the men of Tekoa repaired another section, from the great projecting tower to the wall of Ophel.
The men of Jericho built the adjoining section, and Zaccur son of Imri built next to them (Nehemiah 3:2).
Chapter 3 is one of those chapters that consists largely of unpronounceable names and long-forgotten people! It can be discouraging to come to a chapter like this. But it tells the story of the work of repairing the gates and walls of Jerusalem that Nehemiah had been sent there to do.
They worked together. All through this account you will find the phrase
next to him worked so and so, and
next to them worked others. The writer takes note not only of the workers but also the shirkers, however. Verse 5 says of the men of Tekoa:
their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors. Did you know that God records slackers too? When people will not take up their ministry, God puts their name down in that column as well. But the rest all worked together. They helped one another. Nehemiah had so marvelously organized this that each one had a section of the wall or a gate assigned to him.
Notice also they worked near their home. Look at verse 10: Jedaiah
made repairs opposite his house. Verse 23 tells of certain men who
made repairs in front of their house. The important truth that emerges is that this is God's design for ministry. God has placed us all strategically where He wants us to be. Your neighborhood, office, or home is where your ministry should be. That is why God put you there. In John 15 Jesus said to His disciples that He had appointed them, and the word means
strategically placed them. He had put them in the place where He wanted them to be. This is brought out beautifully here as we watch these people laboring in their own neighborhood.
Finally, each one completed his assigned task. They kept on until they had finished the work. Some had more to do than others, but no one failed--except the
nobles of Tekoa who would not dirty their hands. I have learned through the years that responsibility is always the mark of spiritual maturity. The most mature members in a congregation are those who stay with the work that has been assigned to them until it is done.
Lord, help me to discover the place I have in Your great work. Grant that I might be faithful in the assignment You have given me in cooperation with others in the body of Christ.
Life Application: We enjoy going on mission trips, but how well do we work together to spend time with our neighbors? Do our excuses reveal a shirking of responsibility?
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