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Next was Uzziel son of Harhaiah, a goldsmith by trade, who also worked on the wall. Beyond him was Hananiah, a manufacturer of perfumes.
Nehemiah 3:8 NLT

I am so grateful to Nehemiah for the careful way in which he reported the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. He gives us loads of fascinating details. He tells us that every kind of person got involved whatever their line of work, from priests to perfume makers. There is no reason to think that they had any background in building work but they wanted to play their part. Nehemiah clearly valued the work that they were doing and kept meticulous records of it. It is little wonder that under his inspired leadership the wall was soon rebuilt.

It is so important for us to value every single person, because that’s precisely what God does. We don’t all have the same gifts but we all have a part to play. This is fundamental to the apostle Paul’s understanding of the church. He said that we are the body of Christ and that, therefore, every part of it is essential. When I was a teenager I was keen to help in my church and was asked to be what we called a sidesman. This basically meant that I was the person who said hello to people when they arrived in church and handed them a hymn book. This seemed to me the most basic and menial job. However, over the years I have learnt that the role of welcomers in a church is absolutely crucial. To be met by a warm smile when you arrive at a church can easily transform the whole experience of worship. I needed to learn that God doesn’t ask people to do any unimportant jobs. Every person has a vital part to play.

It is good to know that what we do is important to God, but we also need to know that our leaders and those around us value what we do. Nehemiah was clearly good at this. He was only able to record what everyone had done because it mattered to him and he valued it. As we see people working hard today it is good for us to recognise what they have done and thank them for it.


In what way do you show people that you value what they do?


Lord God, thank you that you have given me vital work to do for you. Help me to do it with all my heart. Amen

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