When I began preparing my commentary on this chapter, I looked back at my notes and I saw a theme. But it was an unusual one. It contained phrases such as “not much is known about these people,” “little known,” and a host of just empty spaces with question marks. I got a little concerned. I mean, why would God give us a list of workers whom we knew little or nothing about? There are even groups in the list that have no name or lineage at all! I like to know who people are, and this bothered me, at first.
Then, I realized what the Holy Spirit is pointing out, “IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!” The point of the rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem was for the glory of God, not the people. The point of our existence is not for our glory, it is for God’s glory and the beauty of Christ’s Bride, the church.
In this chapter, we will find a few precious gems of information about individuals or families. From these we can learn some great spiritual and practical lessons. But we must never miss the big picture shown in this chapter. The people banded together, each working on their portion of the wall according to their abilities. Each did their part, seemingly separate from the others. But Nehemiah’s account shows how it all came together, starting and ending in the same place. And so it is in our church lives. We each have a personal responsibility to serve the Lord through our home church. But we must never forget, we are one in Christ. Our duties are done for the glory of God and the benefit of the body of Christ.
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. – Ephesians 4:1-3
You are anonymous, yet vital, children of God!