WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 1, 2022
TOPIC: COOPERATING TO DO THE WORK OF GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“Next to them the Tekoites made repairs; but their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord” (Nehemiah 3:5 New King James Version).
After Nehemiah, an exile serving King Artaxerxes of Persia, heard about the deplorable condition of the wall of Jerusalem, he secured the king’s permission to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall.
Nehemiah 3 gives a long list of persons who took part in the rebuilding project and what each person did. Verse 5 says the people from Tekoa participated in the project but, unfortunately, their leaders or nobles refused to help.
Tekoa was a Jewish village twelve miles south of Jerusalem. It was the birthplace of the prophet Amos (Amos 1:1). It was first mentioned in the Bible with respect to Joab employing a wise woman from Tekoa to intercede for Absalom before David (2 Samuel 14). Also, the Bible in 2 Samuel 23:26 referred to a Tekoite among the mighty men of David: Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite.
Nehemiah 3:5 says, “Next to them the Tekoites made repairs; but their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord” (New King James Version). In other words, the average Tekoites worked to repair the wall but their nobles did not take part.
Take note of the phrase “did not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord.” This verse does not say “the work of the Lord” but “the work of their Lord.” Some Bible translations, such as the English Revised Version, American Standard Version, and Word English Bible, use the word “lord” and not “Lord”; thus, implying that the nobles refused to put their shoulders to the work of Nehemiah, their lord or master – the work he assigned to them.
The New International Version puts the verse this way: “The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.” The Good News Translation renders the verse thus: “The men of Tekoa built the next section, but the leading men of the town refused to do the manual labor assigned them by the supervisors.”
Whether it is the work of Nehemiah or the work that the supervisors of the people assigned them in the reconstruction of the wall of Jerusalem, it was the work of God. Jerusalem was the city of God.
When a servant of God assigns work to you to do in the church or in the Kingdom of God, you must see it as the work of God as long as it doesn’t violate His Word. God does not have to talk directly to everyone every time in the church about what he/she should do when He has already appointed leaders. God gives assignments to the leaders and they assign responsibilities to others. That doesn’t mean God cannot give assignments to individuals in the church, which, to ensure orderliness and accountability, they should share with the leadership.
Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you” (New King James Version).
The leaders of Tekoa did not show good leadership in the reconstruction of the Jerusalem wall. It is not clear why they refused to cooperate with others. Was it that they felt too big to engage in the physical labour of rebuilding the wall? Did they feel the work was below their status? Too noble for God’s work!
But those who devoted themselves to work in other sections of the project were not all ordinary people. The list includes the high priest and other priests, Levites, leaders of different districts, goldsmiths and merchants, women, etc. Was it that the leaders of Tekoa were not team players or were they lazy?
It is commendable that the people of Tekoa didn’t follow their leaders’ bad example. They repaired a portion of the wall. Nehemiah 3:27 also records that they repaired another section opposite the great projecting tower and over to the wall of Ophel.
In the war that Deborah motivated Barak to fight against Jabin, King of Hazor, Deborah, in her song, noted that the tribes of Reuben, Gilead, Dan, and Asher did not join other tribes to fight the Lord’s war (Judges 5:15-17). In Verse 23, the inhabitants of Meroz were cursed bitterly because they did not come to help the Israelites in that battle. The exact location of Meroz is unknown but it is supposed to have been in northern Palestine, near the Kishon River.
Join hands with others to do the work of God. Jeremiah 48:10 says, “Cursed be those who refuse to do the work the LORD has given them, who hold back their swords from shedding blood!” (New Living Translation). The New King James Version renders it thus: “Cursed is he who does the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from blood.”
Are you feeling too big for the work of God because of your status, wealth, age, or accomplishments? Never feel or think any work of God is below your level. Don’t feel too big to work for God or allow God to use you. Don’t be like the leaders or nobles of Tekoa, and don’t let people like them influence you negatively. Be a team player; join others to do the work of God. Cooperate. Work faithfully and diligently despite anyone’s negative attitude.
The rebuilding of the wall was completed in fifty-two days without the contribution of the leaders of Tekoa (Nehemiah 6:15). God will always get His work done with or without you. It’s a privilege and an honour to participate in God’s work.
If you’re too big to work for God, you’re unfit for Him to promote! Humble yourself. 1 Peter 5:6 says you should humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. If you won’t allow God to use you, the devil will use you!
Don’t be discouraged when you are doing the work of God. God will reward your labour, not on earth alone but also in heaven. “But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!” (2 Chronicles 15:7 New King James Version). Also, Jeremiah 31:16a says, “Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says the LORD” (New King James Version).
Cooperate with your leaders and fellow Christians to do the work of God. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor ” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall not refuse to do the work God has assigned to me. I shall put my shoulders to the work of God. Holy Spirit, help me to be strong; let not my hands be weak. Help me to do the work of God with the right heart. My work shall be rewarded; I shall not miss or lose my reward in Jesus’ name. Father, protect those who are doing your work from being influenced negatively by those who are like the nobles of Tekoa. Cause those who are not cooperating with their leaders and other believers to do your work to repent.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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