November 14 I Saturday
“Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hananiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that....Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section.” —Nehemiah 3:8-9
We have heard of the phrase, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” In essence, Nehemiah 3 perfectly captures this phrase. That chapter lists 40 different groups of people assigned to 40 different sections of the Jerusalem wall to be rebuilt. If we take a read through chapter 3, we will find that everybody contributed; it took a whole team to carry out God’s vision of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.
There is a ministry for all people to engage in. There is a function for every single person. They are all part of the solution and this good work. Where one person’s work ends, another person’s work begins. Together, the Israelites rebuilt the broken places. In the New Testament, we are not physically building a wall; rather, we are conjoined to Christ, joining Him in building up living stones—a Church.
If we are a believer in Christ, filled and sealed with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit has placed a gift within us. Paul writes, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord” (1 Corinthians 12:4). Peter adds, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). There is a function, a role for every believer in ministry, because it takes a team working together to rebuild the broken places.
Verses in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4 outline the different gifts such as exhortation, giving, leadership, mercy, prophecy, service, teaching, apostles, evangelism, healing and helps. There are all kinds of gifts that the Holy Spirit determines and scatters amongst the body. As a Christian, God has placed a spiritual gift in us to serve and to help others in their faith walk so that the body may be built up.
Returning to Nehemiah 3, we find that one does not need to be an expert in any specific field. Nehemiah lists some of the occupations of the people rebuilding the wall, including priests, merchants, perfume makers and goldsmiths. The occupations not listed are carpenters, masons and wall-builders, because God does not need us to be an expert in order for us to say “Yes” to His vision. If God is behind the vision, He simply needs us to say, “Yes!” The miracle is not just that the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt in only 52 days, but that people, with seemingly disparate backgrounds, worked together to rebuild the wall—everybody helped.
Prayer: Dear Lord God, thank You for the sobering reminder that I do not need to be an expert to be used by You. Guide me in using my spiritual gifts for Your vision and purpose. Amen!