Seeds of the Kingdom Daily Devotional 2 July 2022 

TOPIC:  All Hands On Deck

SCRIPTURE: The next section [of the wall of Jerusalem] was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.

I’ve often thought how awful it would be to be one of those people singled out in the Bible for criticism. How terrible to know that, in God’s most amazing word, our names would forever hold the dreadful truth that we had failed Him!

Nehemiah 3 describes the utterly significant moment in Israel’s history when Nehemiah inspired the returned Jewish exiles to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, so that it would provide the people with that extra degree of protection from their hostile neighbours. How terribly sad that these nobles wouldn’t help! Although not named individually, the ‘nobles of Tekoa’ are described as those who ‘would not put their shoulders to the work’. What a sad indictment!

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Generally speaking, Nehemiah Chapter 3 is a wonderful record of God’s people pulling together, both those of high and low status rolling up their sleeves to get the job done. This included Rephaiah, son of Hur, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repairing a section (Nehemiah 3:9); and Shallum, son of Hallohesh, another ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, doing the same (Nehemiah 3:12). These high-ranking officials didn’t consider it beneath themselves to be included in the work party. And their names bear permanent record of their willingness.

So, what of us today? If we are to be those who truly follow Jesus, we would do well to follow Rephaiah and Shallum’s example, and not that of the Tekoan nobles. Humility may not be a quality much admired in the world of the twenty-first century, but in God’s eternal Kingdom it is always something to be aspired to!

As Paul says in Philippians 2:5-8, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped (or used to his own advantage), but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!”


Dear Father God, I come before You right now and ask for Your forgiveness if there’s anything in this story that I recognise in my own attitudes. I am truly sorry if I have ever seen others as lesser than myself or perceived my role in life to be superior to another’s. Thank You that You see my heart and that, when You convict me, You are always ready to receive my ‘sorry’ and forgive my trespasses. May You give me opportunity, today, to serve others in humility and grace. Please help me to take the attitude of Jesus into my heart, and to love my neighbour as myself, whoever that neighbour might be. Amen.