- Renewing People
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“The people commended all who volunteered to live in Jerusalem.” – Nehemiah 11:2 (NIV)
This might seem like a minor thing, but evidently following the completion of the wall not enough people actually wanted to live in the city of Jerusalem. There were leaders living in the city, but most of the people were living outside the city on their own property. To some, there were more cons than pros to city life.
However, Nehemiah knew that a strong Jerusalem was important for the health and strength of the nation, so he came up with a type of draft system by which people were chosen to become city dwellers. Additionally, some people simply volunteered to live there. It is these people that are commended in the above verse.
Why were they commended? They were commended because they valued service over self. In other words, their service for the greater good outweighed their own personal comfort.
We just celebrated Veterans Day, a day when we remember those who served our nation in the military. Some of those men and women who served were drafted, while others volunteered. Either way, the underlying principle is that the greater good of the nation took precedence over their personal comfort and safety.
As important as it is, service in the military is not the only way to serve by putting the greater good above personal comfort and safety. A willingness to serve where needed for the greater good is also needed from everyday men and women in every aspect of society.
What is the greater good? I suppose that could be up to interpretation. Rather than trying to define it, what would happen if we simply had a willingness to serve where we are most-needed, in our jobs, our churches, our homes, our society, wherever.
When all the needs of the world are piled together, the weight is staggering. But the needs can be met if enough of us will step forward to serve in the most-needed places.
God uses many people with different gifts and skills to get His work done in the world. The important thing is that we give ourselves over to Him so that He can use us as His tools to accomplish His work.