The men of Jericho built the adjoining section, and Zaccur son of Imri built next to them.Nehemiah 3:2
Chapter 3 is one of those chapters that consists largely of unpronounceable names and long-forgotten people! It can be discouraging to come to a chapter like this. But it tells the story of the work of repairing the gates and walls of Jerusalem that Nehemiah had been sent there to do.
They worked together. All through this account you will find the phrase
next to him worked so and so, and
next to them worked others. The writer takes note not only of the workers but also the shirkers, however. Verse 5 says of the men of Tekoa:
their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors. Did you know that God records slackers too? When people will not take up their ministry, God puts their name down in that column as well. But the rest all worked together. They helped one another. Nehemiah had so marvelously organized this that each one had a section of the wall or a gate assigned to him.
Notice also they worked near their home. Look at verse 10: Jedaiah
made repairs opposite his house. Verse 23 tells of certain men who
made repairs in front of their house. The important truth that emerges is that this is God's design for ministry. God has placed us all strategically where He wants us to be. Your neighborhood, office, or home is where your ministry should be. That is why God put you there. In John 15 Jesus said to His disciples that He had appointed them, and the word means
strategically placed them. He had put them in the place where He wanted them to be. This is brought out beautifully here as we watch these people laboring in their own neighborhood.
Finally, each one completed his assigned task. They kept on until they had finished the work. Some had more to do than others, but no one failed--except the
nobles of Tekoa who would not dirty their hands. I have learned through the years that responsibility is always the mark of spiritual maturity. The most mature members in a congregation are those who stay with the work that has been assigned to them until it is done.
Lord, help me to discover the place I have in Your great work. Grant that I might be faithful in the assignment You have given me in cooperation with others in the body of Christ.
We enjoy going on mission trips, but how well do we work together to spend time with our neighbors? Do our excuses reveal a shirking of responsibility?