TEXT: NEHEMIAH 7:1-4
KEY VERSE: “That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many” (NEHEMIAH 7:2).
A Christian man set up a business in his country and handed over its management to a believer. Six months after, the believer paid back the original capital to the owner of the business. The Christian-owner was excited that the manager had made a lot of gains. To his surprise, however, the man who was supposed to be his manager said, “I have paid you back your capital. Now, I am the owner”. It turned out that the manager had changed all the papers and converted the business to himself.
Nehemiah, in our text, set up doors and appointed porters, singers and the Levites into respective positions. More significantly, he gave his brother, Hanani, charge over Jerusalem. The decision was not based on affinity, but on faithfulness. He also entrusted the city to Hananiah whom he described as a faithful man who feared God greatly. Hananiah was already the ruler of the palace, and the testimony of Nehemiah shows that he was faithful in that first task.
Desiring to serve God as a worker in His Vineyard is a noble one indeed. But qualities, such as the fear of God and faithfulness, should be the basis on which such workers are selected. The essence of a good selection process is to ensure that genuine and committed people whose desire is to serve the Lord with sincerity are there. It is unfortunate that a number of Christians today cannot be trusted. They cannot keep watch over money, car, children or property. Those to whom the assets of the ministry are committed must exercise due diligence to ensure their security and safety.
Can you be trusted today? As a minister, do members of your congregation trust you? As a believer, can people keep their money or valuable assets with you and feel safe? Be careful, God watches everyone’s faithfulness or otherwise. Be a shining light in the midst of darkness.
✍THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Carelessness over God’s assets will not go unpunished.
THE BIBLE IN A YEAR: MATTHEW 12-13
Tested, tempted, tried and triumphant before promotion
1. The personalities
Hanani was one of the concerned persons that visited Nehemiah, while in captivity, to brief him on the pathetic state of Jerusalem v1, Nehemiah 1:2. Hananiah was the ruler of Jerusalem. Obviously both proved themselves to be reliable.
Lord, give me an heartfelt burden and concern for the Church and my city
2. The promotion v2.
Both were to act the position of Nehemiah as the Governor of Jerusalem. What a great privilege!
Ask God to use you and make you a candidate for promotion
3. The principles of divine promotion
a. Don’t lay hands suddenly on somebody and give him the position of high responsibility. I Timothy 5:22.
b. A novice or spiritually inexperienced person must not be given a work that demands maturity and spirituality. It may destroy the person. Think of Saul. I Timothy 3:6.
c. The quality to look for in the choice of spiritual leadership is primarily spiritual and secondarily academic or intelligence. In this case Nehemiah considered fear of God and faithfulness v2.
d. Fear of God make someone to run away from sin and all things that displease God (think of Joseph); it makes obedience to God instant, unquestionable and total.
e. Faithfulness is shown by wholehearted commitment and consecration to the will and work of God without eye service.
f. Hanani had a higher measure of faithfulness and fear of God above many. You can receive grace above others if you so desire.
Ask for an increasing fear of God, nurtured by the revelation of God, in your life
Ask for a faithful spirit and the destruction of every trait of unfaithfulness, eye service, etc in your life.
Ask God for increase of faithfulness and fear of God in the life of the brethren