SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- In the last chapter, the people dedicated themselves to God and maintaining the temple. To do this requires people. So, the make a plan that the leaders of the people will live in Jerusalem. The also agree to use a sort of ancient lottery, what they call casting lots, to determine another 10% of the people who will live in Jerusalem.
- Others, seeing this rehabilitation of the city, decide to also move there.
- Nehemiah then lists the leaders of the people who live in Jerusalem.
- Living in Jerusalem at this time is not an ideal lifestyle. It isn't the greatest place for raising a family or having community. The wall is complete, so it's much safer than it used to be, but it still is quite a ghost town of a city.
- These settlers trusted that God would protect them and honor their efforts to honor him.
- When, however, others see people trying to do something positive in the world, it inspires them to see the greater vision and they join the team.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- When God begins a new work, it often begins with a few pioneers. It can be hard word. It may not have the same danger as these settlers in Jerusalem face, but it might feel just as dangerous. Perhaps God is calling you to start something new, to be a spiritual settler so to speak.
- Or, maybe you have seen a new work beginning and realize you can help. Maybe someone else's vision has touched your heart and God is trying to get you to join.