Nehemiah 7 has 73 verses and is primarily a list of names. It’s like the Jerusalem phone book! Most authors skip over it or combine it with chapter 8, but there is so much there. I just couldn’t skip over it!
The first subject addressed in the chapter is leadership. As I have said throughout this series, the book of Nehemiah is a classic on leadership.
“Then it was… that I gave the charge of Jerusalem to my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the leader of the citadel, for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many” (Neh. 7:1-2). Nehemiah put the right people in the right places. He appointed leaders and even chose his brother. He was not afraid of the accusation of nepotism and did not give the job to his brother because of favoritism. Hanani was faithful and trusted.
Leadership cannot be left up to a popularity vote. Note the criteria for choosing leaders in verse 2. They had to be faithful. The greatest ability is dependability. 1 Corinthians 4:2 says, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” Regardless of your place of service, your greatest ability is dependability! Don’t be hit and miss, hot and cold, on and off. Be faithful.
In verse 5, Nehemiah gathered the people together. Why did they build the wall? So people could come into the city of God and find a place of safety. Why are we building a multi-generational, multi-ethnic, multi-site church? For people. Buildings and new campuses are tools to help us reach people. 1.7 million people are not driving to one address. We want to wrap our arms around Hampton Roads and take the Gospel to them! The names in chapter 7 were there to help build the city. We are here to help build the church. We are here for those who are not yet here!
Not only did the people partner together to build and to worship, but Nehemiah partnered with Hanani and Hannaniah, faithful men of integrity who feared God. Think of other examples in Scripture: Aaron and Hur holding up the arms of Moses to win the battle, Joshua and Caleb believing the promises of God, Ruth and Naomi committing to make the journey together, David and Jonathan committing to friendship and protecting each other, Paul and Silas praising God even in adversity, and Paul and Timothy encouraging one another. It’s important who you partner with!
The Bible talks about money. In verses 70-72, the Governor, leaders, and the people all gave. Money follows your heart. Mathew 6:21 says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” If you love something, you give your money to it. At the end of our text, the people make a major offering, nearly $5 million. God’s work is not second-rate. He does not want our leftovers. He wants our best. God put a dream in Nehemiah’s heart and he gave it his very best!
As I conclude this post on Nehemiah 7, remember God knows your name! We know the names of the 12 tribes of Israel. We know the names of David’s mighty men. In Romans 16 we have a list of names of those who worked with Paul. In Hebrews 11 we have a list of the heroes of the faith. Today, we read a list of names in Nehemiah 7. These are people God used to accomplish His work.
God is keeping records of where we came from, who we belong to, what we give, and what we do for Him. Is your name in God’s Book – the Lamb’s book of life? How will you be remembered? What will you be remembered for?