Co-Laboring



Scripture:

Neh. 3:1 ¶ Then the high priest Eliashib set to work with his fellow priests and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and set up its doors; they consecrated it as far as the Tower of the Hundred and as far as the Tower of Hananel.
Neh. 3:2 And the men of Jericho built next to him. And next to them Zaccur son of Imri built.
Neh. 3:3 ¶ The sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars.
Neh. 3:4 Next to them Meremoth son of Uriah son of Hakkoz made repairs. Next to them Meshullam son of Berechiah son of Meshezabel made repairs. Next to them Zadok son of Baana made repairs.
Neh. 3:5 Next to them the Tekoites made repairs; but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord.
Neh. 3:6 ¶ Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah repaired the Old Gate; they laid its beams and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars.
Neh. 3:7 Next to them repairs were made by Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite—the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah—who were under the jurisdiction of the governor of the province Beyond the River.
Neh. 3:8 Next to them Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs. Next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, made repairs; and they restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall.
Neh. 3:9 Next to them Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs.
Neh. 3:10 Next to them Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house; and next to him Hattush son of Hashabneiah made repairs.
Neh. 3:11 Malchijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-moab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens.
Neh. 3:12 Next to him Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs, he and his daughters.
Neh. 3:13 ¶ Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired the Valley Gate; they rebuilt it and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and repaired a thousand cubits of the wall, as far as the Dung Gate.
Neh. 3:14 ¶ Malchijah son of Rechab, ruler of the district of Beth-haccherem, repaired the Dung Gate; he rebuilt it and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars.
Neh. 3:15 ¶ And Shallum son of Col-hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah, repaired the Fountain Gate; he rebuilt it and covered it and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars; and he built the wall of the Pool of Shelah of the king’s garden, as far as the stairs that go down from the City of David.
Neh. 3:16 After him Nehemiah son of Azbuk, ruler of half the district of Beth-zur, repaired from a point opposite the graves of David, as far as the artificial pool and the house of the warriors.
Neh. 3:17 After him the Levites made repairs: Rehum son of Bani; next to him Hashabiah, ruler of half the district of Keilah, made repairs for his district.
Neh. 3:18 After him their kin made repairs: Binnui, son of Henadad, ruler of half the district of Keilah;
Neh. 3:19 next to him Ezer son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, repaired another section opposite the ascent to the armory at the Angle.
Neh. 3:20 After him Baruch son of Zabbai repaired another section from the Angle to the door of the house of the high priest Eliashib.
Neh. 3:21 After him Meremoth son of Uriah son of Hakkoz repaired another section from the door of the house of Eliashib to the end of the house of Eliashib.
Neh. 3:22 After him the priests, the men of the surrounding area, made repairs.
Neh. 3:23 After them Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs opposite their house. After them Azariah son of Maaseiah son of Ananiah made repairs beside his own house.
Neh. 3:24 After him Binnui son of Henadad repaired another section, from the house of Azariah to the Angle and to the corner.
Neh. 3:25 Palal son of Uzai repaired opposite the Angle and the tower projecting from the upper house of the king at the court of the guard. After him Pedaiah son of Parosh
Neh. 3:26 and the temple servants living on Ophel made repairs up to a point opposite the Water Gate on the east and the projecting tower.
Neh. 3:27 After him the Tekoites repaired another section opposite the great projecting tower as far as the wall of Ophel.
Neh. 3:28 ¶ Above the Horse Gate the priests made repairs, each one opposite his own house.
Neh. 3:29 After them Zadok son of Immer made repairs opposite his own house. After him Shemaiah son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, made repairs.
Neh. 3:30 After him Hananiah son of Shelemiah and Hanun sixth son of Zalaph repaired another section. After him Meshullam son of Berechiah made repairs opposite his living quarters.
Neh. 3:31 After him Malchijah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs as far as the house of the temple servants and of the merchants, opposite the Muster Gate, and to the upper room of the corner.
Neh. 3:32 And between the upper room of the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and the merchants made repairs.

Observation:

This entire chapter is presented because it’s hard to just pick and choose any few verses for it is in its entirety that you begin to understand the way in which the community came together to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The fact that time was taken to write the names down is significant — for this was a group effort. These people should not have been able to rebuild the walls as quickly or as well as they did. The local rulers mocked them as every person, every family began to work on their little segment of the wall. They didn’t have a lot of money. They didn’t have a lot of resources. They were scared. They weren’t safe…and yet, every one built and repaired. As they became co-laborers God did something miraculous in and among them and the impossible became possible!

Application:

I think of all the impossibilities that we face and they always seem more ominous when we try to tackle them alone. Looking over the rubble of Jerusalem must have been terribly discouraging. Wondering how this little band of returned exiles could solve the problems must have been equally discouraging.

Christianity is facing some difficult days and there are those who have predicted the demise of Christianity as it has been known. At the same time there are opportunities for us to respond, just as the Israelites. What we are facing is not something that can be managed on its own, or on our own. Instead, this is a time when we ought to join together, as co-laborers within the work of the kingdom. When everyone picks up his/her part and participates in kingdom work, the result is astounding.

I’m challenged today to imagine what a partnership between God’s people might be able to accomplish. May God help us to lay down our pride and pick up the tools which are necessary for us to work on that which is in front of us, and to be co-laborers together in the task with our sisters and brothers. The kingdom work completed by loving, committed co-laborers will bring about the impossible.

Prayer:

Lord, please unite us in service to you.  Amen.

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