If you were brought up in a church that had a song naming off all of the books in the bible, you have probably heard the book “Nehemiah”. We know that’s it’s before Esther and after 1 & 2 Kings. But do we ever actually take the time to read it? I know I didn’t. I’m on this new thing lately where God is pressing me to read the books of the bible that not many people really mention, so when my favorite devotional site dropped the news on doing a two-part study on this book, I was overjoyed.
There was one little snippet that I felt the need to share with you, I pray that it opens your eyes as much as it’s opened mine. Here we go:
“Next to them the men from Tekoa made repairs. However, the nobles wouldn’t lower themselves to work under supervisors” – Nehemiah 3:5
Here’s a little back story: The first few chapters of the book of Nehemiah is about a man named….well, Nehemiah, who is grieved because the walls of his city have been destroyed. Here he is, a simple cup-bearer for the king and his heart is grieved to help restore his home. In the first chapter, the king allows Nehemiah to leave and help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. When he gets there, he assigns all of these men to help build certain parts of the wall, which is where I’m taking you to this evening. The verse that I just shared with you above has been throwing me off since I listened to it in the car. It simply states that these nobles, men that of high stature, of leadership, refuse to help rebuild this wall under the supervision of someone “beneath” them.
Got it? Okay, hold that in your mind for a second.
“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.” – Nehemiah 3:20
If you see where I’m going with this, you are awesome and deserve a gold sticker. If not, it’s totally okay. You’ll get your sticker either way, but let me explain what I see.
What is zeal? Dictionary definition:
|fervent or enthusiastic devotion, often extreme or fanatical in nature, as to a religious movement, political cause, ideal, or aspiration|
So in a nut shell, this man Baruch son of Zabbai is working on this wall because this is probably more than just an assignment to him. It’s something he’s beyond passionate about. This is his home, these are his people and if these walls continue to stay down, everything he knows could be gone in a short amount of time. We don’t know what he does for a living, the bible doesn’t go beyond whose son he belongs to, but this man is working his bum off with authentic devotion. He’s probably a nobody, but Nehemiah or whoever wrote this book of the bible thought it worth mentioning his attitude towards his work on this wall. And he also thought it enough to mention how these nobles were working or not working.
You see where I’m getting at? The nobles just got schooled by one man and they don’t even know it! Their focus was off; too much into their title instead of the betterment of the people. Are you like that? Am I like that? Yes, we probably are, at least I know I can be. Is that something that we should be proud of? Of course not.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…”
– Colossians 3:23
My conclusion to all of this is simple: if you are a leader, whether in the work place, home or church you must realize that your title does not exclude you from being told what to do. It does not exclude you from getting your hands dirty, but it does require you to set a better example. You shouldn’t think so highly of yourself like the nobles did and if you do, it’s time to change that. What you do sets the standard of those watching you and if there is someone watching you, how you act will most likely be repeated towards you. And if you are a simple person, what most would think as a “nobody”, and you work on things with passion no matter how low the task, keep it up. Don’t think that it’s all for nothing, because God sees your heart and he’s proud of you. The blessings that he has for those that work with zeal are coming their way. Just don’t slow down.
Let’s be people (believers of Christ or not) that work with an undying passion, title or not.