And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri. But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof. And next unto them repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz. And next unto them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel. And next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baana. And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord. – Nehemiah 3:2-5
The first few verses we have before us today give us little detail more than a few names and the location of their portion of the reconstruction. Meremoth is mentioned in Ezra 8:33. He made the vessels of gold for the temple. Other than that, we don’t have a lot of information. These remind us that our service, at times, is basically anonymous. But however anonymous, each of us is vital in the Lord’s service.
The remarkable point in this passage, however, is not who was working but who was not working. Among the Tekoites there were some very rich people. These nobles felt that hard labor in stone and wood was beneath them. Moreover, they would not even give money to hire workers or buy supplies. They were completely against the rebuilding effort! What a disgrace.
We will see the see Tekoites again in a later verse. Apparently, the regular folks among them didn’t follow the nobles’ arrogant example. They finish their portion of the wall and then go help others to finish. Now, that is true nobility!
When you think about it, people who are more affluent actually have more and easier opportunities to help in the Lord’s work. They can give more, but the typical pattern is that many give less percentage-wise than the more humble members of the congregation. They can also spend more time physically doing things for the church. The boss can have a lot more discretion for days to be off from work than the average worker. Now, before anyone accuses me of just bashing rich people, consider this. This sense of nobility is not limited to people who are actually rich. Anytime someone feels that a particular job is below them, they have forgotten their Savior and become like these Tekoite nobles.
We need to have the mind of Christ:
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:5-8
Don’t just go to church. Be the church.