Monday, 29 November 2010

Next to them

Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors. They built as far as the Tower of the Hundred, and consecrated it, then as far as the Tower of Hananel. Next to Eliashib the men of Jericho built. And next to them Zaccur the son of Imri built. Nehemiah 3v1-2

The whole story of the wall building is really great. It would make a brilliant film and it would surely be a blockbuster. There is so much here that it is hard to try and capture even a fraction of it. Matt likes to come up with actors to take starring roles in Bible stories. I don’t know who I would like to take Ezra’s role. I would say Charlton Heston, but he is Moses! Maybe someone like Denzel Washington?

Anyway, here we have a problem. The walls need to be built, but they face the challenges of the very real work that needs to be done, along with the opposition of the people in the land.

Ezra does a great job of organising as recorded in Ezra chapter 3. The whole chapter tells how the men of the families lined up side by side all along the wall to get the job day. This guy stood by this guy. This guy did this and this guy did that. They lined up from gate to gate until the whole wall of the city was under construction.

Everybody had a role to play. Everyone had a part to do. Every single job was necessary. The old saying goes ‘many hands make light work.’ How true that is. There was no room for slackers in Jerusalem. That kind of work has the added benefit that it unifies the people.

Where is our place on the wall? Are we doing our part in God’s work? Can we afford to leave a gap in the wall?

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