When there’s something to be done, are you standing-in-line waiting for the green light to start? Or do you make yourself scarce or unavailable? Do you show up when the bulk of the work is done, hoping people will assume you did your fair share of the work? Are you the last one to show up and the first one to leave?

The rebuilding of the walls and gates of Jerusalem was a major project of national interest. With the walls in shambles, the residents were vulnerable and unprotected. Godly Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem with a burden to lead the major infrastructure project. He shared his vision with the people and, in a very organized fashion, he began to delegate and divvy-up the work. All would have their part to do. All would feel a sense of ownership for the work to be done. It would be a unifying project.

The folks from a small town, sixteen kilometers south of Jerusalem, rolled up their sleeves and waited-in-line for the signal to start. But not everyone from the town was totally enthusiastic. In fact, the leaders of Tekoa were very poor examples. They didn’t lift a finger to help.

Wonderfully, (and it’s still true today) people can rise above their leaders in the individual choices they make. And that’s exactly what the rest of the people did in Tekoa. Despite the miserable example of their leaders, the people did the right thing – as you can see from this verse:

And next to them, Meremoth the son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz repaired. And next to them, Meshullam the son of Berechiah, son of Meshezabel repaired. And next to them, Zadok the son of Baana repaired. And next to them the Tekoites repaired, but their nobles would not stoop to serve their Lord. Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired the Gate of Yeshanah. They laid its beams and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. Nehemiah 3:4-6

Even though there were many difficulties and loads of opposition, there was great enthusiasm in working together for the Lord in the major reconstruction project. Godly Nehemiah prayed frequently and encouraged them often in the work.

“Finished! We’re done; the work assigned to us has been completed,” the Tekoites could say. “But, is it possible there might be something else we could do? Is there still a need? Could we do some more work somewhere else?”

“…the Tekoites repaired another section opposite the great projecting tower as far as the wall of Ophel.” Nehemiah 3:27

What’s my attitude like today? Am I eager to contribute to the things of God? If there are invitations or Gospel texts to be distributed in my town or one that’s sixteen kilometers away, would I cancel my plans for biking or going to the beach that day, so I could help-out? Would I do the bare minimum and then disappear, or would I go to the organizers and say: “I’ve finished my section; is there another area I could do?”

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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