August 5, 2018
NEHEMIAH PART 9 | God Records Your Story
Tribe Recap Aug 5, 2018 | Nehemiah 11 & 12, Malachi 3, Psalm 139
Nehemiah chapters 11 and 12 are full of people’s names. They are listed in God’s word. Sometimes they are listed as families, sometimes their roles are included and other times (as in 11:3 and 11:20) it’s mentioned that they had property and land. Many other names are found in chapters 3 and 7 of this book. These are regular people.
Does it ever strike you that the people spoken of in the Bible are regular people with regular jobs? This is God’s story, the history of what his people did on planet earth.
Do you ever wonder where you fit in in all of this? Malachi, the prophet active during this time, says in chapter 3:16 of that book, “Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name.”
I think it’s incredible that God would have a ‘book of remembrance’ created. Doesn’t he remember everything? Does a ‘Spirit’ need a ‘book’? And yet, he writes down what the people who love God said to each other so it could be remembered. The word remembered can also mean, ‘memorial’ or ‘celebration.’ So at least once it is specifically mentioned in scripture that God wrote down what his people did so it could be remembered and celebrated. The bible itself seems to function in this regard much of the time! Psalm 139 talks about a ‘book’ containing the ‘days that were ordained for me.’
Do you believe God wants to remember and celebrate the works of ‘regular’ people? Look at all the regular people in Nehemiah 11 and 12! They became part of God’s story.
Has anything changed today for God’s people fighting the good fight? Perhaps God only wrote one book of remembrance in Nehemiah’s day, or perhaps Malachi gives us a glimpse into how God operates. Perhaps we in our present time are being recorded in God’s book….in God’s story. We are all on a journey with God with an assignment (Eph 2:10). The people in this story were trying to build the wall and put their lives back in order after the exile.
In Nehemiah 12 the wall is dedicated; the wall is finished and done. The epic struggle for that leg of the race is over. Nehemiah and the people persevered and the wall got finished – and there was a great celebration of singing, and choirs, and fanfare. It says in 12:43 that their joy could be heard from far away.
God has said that he is the author and finisher of our faith. He will finish in us what he has begun; he will finish the ‘wall’ of our faith, and in the end, when we stand before him, there will be so much joy that it will be heard from far away. And perhaps, he will turn the pages of his book to a chapter with our names in it – regular people with regular jobs, who refused to give up building the Kingdom of God.