Good morning 🙂 This beautiful account of the builders begins with a godly leader. Eliashib the high priest leads the way by setting aside his position. Instead of pointing and directing he puts his own hands and feet to work. He rose up and worked. More than 50 others followed. A few things stand out to me. The work begins with the gate, the critical entry and exit point, and then the walls. The work was recognized as special and set apart for Gods glory (consecration). 5 times it is mentioned that workers began in front of their own homes. None of the builders were professional construction workers and all had diverse backgrounds and trades. There were women. Some workers were noted for making “repairs”, the Hebrew word chazaq, which means something like strengthening, encouraging, or making something strong. Some were building up and some were making it strong, working together in vital harmony. The Tekoites were noted “repairers” whose nobles that were with them were recorded as doing nothing, and these who did not join in were still recorded in the story.
I do not want to be recorded as one in the story doing nothing. And since this is only one story in the history of the world I realize that every act is seen. Every day counts. And so I must do something. Sometimes it’s doing and sometimes it’s standing. But always for the Lord. If the nobles had been recorded as praying or serving water for the builders it would have played into the beauty of the process. But they “would not bend their necks” to what God wanted them to do. And it was noted. Later we see the Tekoites repairing another section of the wall. As if making up for their nobles bad example.
I am convicted to pay closer attention to my section of the wall. To do my best work. Going through the motions won’t cut it. Nowhere in this account does it mention the trials or pain that must be present in some of these people’s daily lives. Nowhere does it say “in spite of this” they worked. It just shows them working together toward a Godly mission. We all have problems in our lives that could easily get in the way of rebuilding, but I know that when I let Jesus have my burdens and pain, I am freed up to do the next thing. My heart is open with space available for God to fill me. My spirit is able to hear His call. Lord lead me to your voice calling in the wilderness. Let your will be done. Let me be your example by being faithful and humble enough to do your work. I am letting go of the heavy and opening my hands to You.
A poem for you I wrote when life was feeling heavy. May you find new strength as you go.
(Shake Open Hands)
Let go, loosen grip, and untighten the hold
Fists clenched in clinging, turns inward, heart cold
Cinched in, and cramped reeling, aching for peace
If only, hold tighter, squeeze life, no release
Step back, breathe in, forced air into lungs
Envision your hands, letting go of the rungs
This ladder you climb, is taking you where?
Are you headed toward freedom, or hell unaware?
Heavy load burdens, drags closely behind
Collected and carried, for life hoped to find
Fall to your knees, hands and face slam in dust
Tripped by your pride, presumption you must
And yet as you finally, force in the still
Stay in place for a moment, pause quiet until
Hazy view, clearing slowly, glimpse blurry at first
Sudden eyes have new vision, cease thinking the worst
Light gleams before you, hands reach from above
A Savior reminds you, of unfailing Love
Stand and release, tight grip holding your heart
Let His grace revive you, heavy load, ripped apart.
Shake open hands, stretch fingers out wide
Walk into new freedom, where God will provide
Peace will cover, like new fallen snow
Renewing soul weary, new strength as you go.