We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine


Nehemiah 3: Another Brick, Please!

I don’t know about you but when I come across lists of names in the Bible I tend to speed read. Nehemiah chapter 3 is one of those chapter lists. Could anything significant come from a list of builders and redundant record of repairs?

But I learned a lesson long ago. In those mundane lists, there is often a treasury of pure gold waiting to be found. In fact, the list of repairs in Nehemiah 3 may hold the answers to a nation’s economic recovery as well as our guide to spiritual revival.

First, you have recorded that the rich and poor are working together; fathers and daughters, leaders and servants, skilled and unskilled, all working toward one goal–to repair and restore the glory of God. You also have one negative report. The wealthy Tekoites felt that common labor was beneath them. The record states that “they would not stoop to serve their Lord.”

In contrast there’s the record of Baruch. He’s my favorite among the builders. Scripture records that he earnestly repaired another section. The word “earnestly” means to glow, blaze or to be zealous. Baruch worked with a zealous tenacity. Can you just see him? I love watching those who possess this kind of zeal for the Lord.And then the text says that he repaired another. This word “another” means double, second, or again.When Baruch finished his section, he just kept on working. Having finished his own portion, Baruch comes to the rescue at the southeast corner, where the rubbish is the deepest and the work the hardest.In tribute to his zeal for the Lord, he receives the mark of distinction in God’s list of honor.

Just as it was I the days of Nehemiah and Baruch so it is today. We have before us a great opportunity to walk by faith and rebuild and restore the glory of God…for the hand of our God is upon us for good. What more do we need?