- Leaders of the people
- Chosen by casting lots
Lessons I learnt from Nehemiah 11
Jerusalem, the city is still in ruins and for anyone to even think of staying there would require them to build their house, or rebuild the ruins. In human terms it was not an easy or grand affair that they had to go for. Yet those that were leaders of people, those that were chosen through lots would have to stay in Jerusalem. What I was impressed with, were some who volunteered to live in the ruined city, despite of the fact that it would need a lot of hard work to get a home into working condition. Even in Nehemiah 11:2 "2 The people commended all the men who volunteered to live in Jerusalem". Isn't that a challenge.
The leader-Once someone has been established a leader, they have no choice but to remain as a leader whether they like it as a task or not. Though they may not want to live in Jerusalem, they would have to live in Jerusalem. So they are only left with 2 choices, to live happily ever after or to live groaning about it. If they live happily they will surely be a blessing to others, if they groan it will only be a pain for them and no one would reap any benefits out of it, whether them or someone else.All the leaders God called to lead His people were of one or the other kind. Most of them would take up the leadership happily yet they would always have something to moan about.Remember this dialogue between God and Moses Exodus 4:10-13"10 Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."
11 The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
13 But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."
The one chosen by lot-As long as their name wasn't picked out in the lot they would have been much relieved, but once called they would probably feel the same way as the not-so-happy leaders would feel. .Acts 1:26 choosing the 12th apostle was by lot.
The volunteer-As I think about a volunteer, I am reminded of one beautiful person from the Bible, her life has always taught me some very very powerful lessons. Ruth, a moabite woman, who volunteered to her mother-in-law Naomi "16And Ruth said, Urge me not to leave you or to turn back from following you; for where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. [b]Your people shall be my people and your God my God. 17Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts me from you."(Ruth 1:16-17) What was there for her that she go with Naomi? Also Moab was a group of people rejected by God, then how would she find favor with Naomi's God? Yet she volunteered and worked in obedience to her mother-in-law becoming faithful, expecting nothing, but to just be with her mother-in-law. Knowing, her life was practically over if she volunteered to go with her, Naomi tried to talk her out of it but it didn't work. She had made up her mind to go with her, no matter what she'd have to face, when the Israelites back in Naomi's town would see her, the moabite, in God's town. Her faithfulness brought her to a wonderful place and put her name in a list of record even she would have never imagined. Yes in Matthew 1, as the great grandmom of David the king and thereby great great great .....grandmom of our Lord Jesus Christ. Can you see the blessing of a life volunteered? Not even from a chosen group of people, yet she saw something about Naomi's God and her people that caused her to be drawn into the family of God. Wow.
Conclusion:We are not Israelites, so essentially not chosen people of God. Yet when Jesus Christ our Lord came into this world, He broke down all socio-political barriers of faith and opened the way for even Gentiles to enter into God's precious promise. Ruth the volunteer, found her way into the geneaology of Lord Jesus Christ, that, being a tremendous blessing for a moabite woman. For us our Lord Jesus has already opened the way, its upto us to go on forward as a willing volunteer, who knows the cost yet chooses to follow God, the Living God that Ruth chose to call her own and the same God who changed her life into such a tremendous blessing to this entire mankind, even to us.
Through Jesus 1 Peter 2:9 ".. you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." Can we willingly volunteer to rebuild the broken city of Jerusalem, our Jerusalem being this group of people estranged from their family of God. God never created anyone to perish, but that all may see His love and come back to His family. Can we volunteer in whatever way we can, no matter how awkward or difficult it may seem, like it might have been for Ruth, to participate in God's plan of restoration of lives to Him.