Friday, November 2, 2012

faithful and God-fearing guards

I gave my brother Hanani and Hananiah the governor of the castle charge over Jerusalem, for he was a more faithful and God-fearing man than many.
Nehemiah 7:2

And exactly what was the task that required such faith and a powerful testimony? These men were called upon to oversee the security of the city. There were to recruit, station, and train the city's guards along the wall. The wall alone was not a complete defense. The task of watching over and defending Jerusalem required faithful watchmen on the walls.

Nehemiah knew by the consistent faith of Hanani and Hananiah that they were capable of taking the responsibility seriously. And they would find in the defense of the city a way to faithfully serve God. This was about the character and reputation that comes through faithful obedience in walking with God. And it led them to increased opportunity to be faithful in even greater tasks than they had taken before.

This was a major concern for Nehemiah. All he had done in answering God's call on his life depended on the walls doing what they were built to do. God had protected Jerusalem while the wall was rebuilt. But each man still built with a sword at his side. God would protect the city now that the wall was complete, but guards still needed to care for the inhabitants by walking and watching the walls. It is this balance of belief and action, hard trust and hard work, that is the stuff of our lives.

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