The Passage: Nehemiah 3:6-32
The Point: God uses all kinds of people with all kinds of gifts.The 18th century hymnist, William Cowper, said “Variety’s the spice of life, that gives it all its flavor.” Diversity brings different cultures together. You often hear that Family Church is multicultural — and we praise God that it is! God uses our differences in background, experience, culture, and gifting to accomplish his mission. The rebuilding of the walls in Nehemiah 3 was no different.
Nehemiah 3:1 tells us about the priests working to repair a portion of the wall. These guys were not construction workers. They studied the law and made sacrifices, but here we read about them joining the rebuilding efforts.
In Nehemiah 3:8, we find Uzziel, a goldsmith, and Hananiah, a perfumer (a perfumer compounded incense for burning in the temple, perfumes, spices, and medicines). Both Uzziel and Hananiah were considered artists ― not the people you might expect to see at a construction site.
Nehemiah 3:12 introduces us to an entire family, Shallum and his daughters, working on the walls. Don’t overlook the significance of Shallum’s daughters being mentioned. You might not expect to find women at a construction site in the Bible, yet here they are killing it!
In Nehemiah 3:20, we meet Baruch. In most English translations, Baruch is singled out for his earnest labor on the wall. Apparently he worked harder or more efficiently than other workers.
This is obviously not a complete list of the workers. The point is, each member of our church has equal value and worth. Your abilities won’t be overlooked. You may never preach a sermon or lead a Bible study, but serving in a “lesser-known” capacity does not make you less valuable. In Ephesians 4:16, Paul says that in Christ, when the church body is working properly it “…makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Diversity in the church is something to celebrate. It gives us a glimpse of heaven when believers from throughout time will finally come together for eternity to worship God. Let’s celebrate our different backgrounds, experiences, and gifting as we work together to fulfill the mission of God.
- Why did Nehemiah note the diversity of workers?
- Why was it important that a variety of people helped rebuild the walls?
- How does the Bible encourage people to use their different gifting?
- How can you use your gifts to help reach South Florida?
- How can you encourage others to use their gifts?