Saturday, August 7, 2010

Do I LOOK Like a Builder? (Nehemiah 3)

If you teach a children’s Bible class, do you ever ask yourself, “What am I doing here?” If so, you’re not alone. Many people who work in children’s ministries wonder the same thing. Many are not teachers by profession and don’t feel qualified. Yet, there they are teaching children. Nehemiah 3 provides helpful perspective for vocational and non-vocational teachers alike.

God devotes an entire chapter in the book of Nehemiah to listing the names of people who helped rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. The interesting thing is—most of the builders were not architects, engineers or construction workers by trade. They were everyday people who worked in fields vastly different from where they were serving right then.

Nehemiah’s building crew consisted of the high priest, his fellow priests, several goldsmiths, a perfume-maker, several district rulers, ordinary citizens, temple servants, a security guard, several merchants, women (long before the days of equal opportunity) and many others. God didn’t criticize any of these helpers for not working as fast as others, or for lacking the skills others had, or for not being as strong. God reproved only one group of people, the nobles of Tekoa, because “their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors” (Nehemiah 3:5 NIV).

Like everyone in ministry, Nehemiah’s workers experienced opposition, frustration and discouragement (chapter 4). But they kept working, heeding Nehemiah’s advice not to focus on their feelings, but on the greatness of their God (Nehemiah 4:14). And God blessed their work.

If Nehemiah’s crew had been professionals, they may have congratulated themselves on the success of the building project. But they were unqualified, unlikely builders. So when they finally completed the wall—in record time—GOD received the credit. Nehemiah wrote, “So the wall was completed . . . in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God" (Nehemiah 6:15-16 NIV, emphasis added).

You may feel out of place teaching kids, but God can use unlikely people to do His work. Just ask Nehemiah’s building crew.

Copyright © 2010 Sherrie Lorance. All rights reserved.

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