When the Jews returned from exile to Jerusalem, the city was in ruins. One of their first tasks was to rebuild the wall around the city, so it would be a safe place to live. Nehemiah 3 lists the community leaders who each adopted a certain section of the wall to rebuild. It is a wonderful picture of what can happen when a group of people band together, each doing his or her part, to get a job done.
However, verse five contains a very intriguing phrase about one set of leaders. The Tekoites made repairs, "but their nobles did not lift a finger to help their supervisors." The Tekoites were from the small town of Tekoa, which in historical times was the home of David's mighty men. Though we do not know the whole story, from this verse, and from other places in scripture, it appears that the general populace of Tekoa was made up of hard working people who could be counted on to get the job done. In fact, they are one of only three groups that eventually repaired more than one section of the Jerusalem wall. This indicates that they were not only willing to do their share of the work, but were willing to go beyond the call of duty and do even more than what most other people were willing to do.
Though the Tekoites were hard working, they had leaders that were not so great. For some reason their nobles were not willing to get personally involved in rebuilding the wall. Perhaps they thought it was beneath them. Maybe they were too busy entertaining other nobility. For whatever reason, they were not supportive of what God had led the people to do. Their lack of support was noted at the time and recorded for all history to read. Thousands of years later we still know of their lack of leadership at a crucial time in history.
There are powerful parallels in this passage of scripture and our current culture in North America. Many people are working hard trying to earn a living, raise a family, help their neighbors, and make their communities better places to live. But where are the leaders? They are occupied with other things. They are focused on making more money or increasing their political power. Few leaders seem interested in joining the common people in making our nation a great place to live. History will record their lack of leadership in this critical hour.
This verse also applies to the Christian sub-culture that exists inside North American culture. As the walls of Christendom have fallen into ruins, we must be bold as we seek to rebuild the spiritual foundations on which our society was built. Far too many Christian leaders are more focused on building their brand or erecting larger buildings, but fail to interact with communities that are crumbling around them. History will also record their lack of leadership in this critical hour.
Lord, help us be leaders and focus on building Your Kingdom and sharing Your Word with others. Amen.
This post is an excerpt from the book, The Heavenly Mundane: Daily Devotions from Ordinary Experiences. Filled with stories of how God spoke in big ways through small events, the book will encourage people to look for God in the mundane things of life. Great for both personal use and to give as a gift to friend, either the print version or the e-book version may be purchased at this link: