Nehemiah 7:1-2 (NIV) 1 After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers and the singers and the Levites were appointed. 2 I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do.
On verses 1-2: Having successfully rebuilt the wall, Nehemiah now choses leaders to help protect and manage what he and the people have built together. Nehemiah picks his brother Hanani as well as Hananiah to take charge of Jerusalem. He picks Hananiah “because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do” (v2). Notice that when picking leaders, Nehemiah wasn’t focused on the candidates’ charisma or charm, but their character. Likewise, when choosing your spouse, your closest friends, or other key people whom you let have an influence on your life, don’t focus on that person’s charisma or charm; focus on that person’s character. Are they a person of integrity? Do they have an uncommon heart for God?
Nehemiah 7:3 (NIV) 3 I said to them, “The gates of Jerusalem are not to be opened until the sun is hot. While the gatekeepers are still on duty, have them shut the doors and bar them. Also appoint residents of Jerusalem as guards, some at their posts and some near their own houses.”
On verse 3: Although Nehemiah and the people had successfully built up the wall, Nehemiah knew that they could not let their guard down. They needed to remain alert against future attacks. Likewise, something powerful happens when you allow Jesus Christ into the city that is your life and give him the authority to build up your defenses and make you stronger. Work with God to guard what He has done in your life and remain vigilant against future attacks from the enemy.
Nehemiah 7:4-5 (NIV) 4 Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not yet been rebuilt. 5 So my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the common people for registration by families. I found the genealogical record of those who had been the first to return. This is what I found written there:
On verses 4-72: Despite Jerusalem’s wall being rebuilt, it appears that most Jews still preferred to live outside Jerusalem. So Nehemiah begins a program to move families of Jews, both rich and poor, into Jerusalem and build more housing in the city. To help organize the move and to make sure that the duty of moving into Jerusalem was shared equally among the people, Nehemiah refers to old genealogical records showing who first resettled in Jerusalem. The list is very similar to the one in Ezra 2:1-70. What can we learn from this? Just as Nehemiah picked certain people to move into the city of David (Jerusalem), so God has chosen you by name to live in the city of Jesus the Son of David, that is, the kingdom of God.
Thank You, Lord, for handpicking me and choosing me by name to live in Your city, Your kingdom. Thank You that as I live in Your city, You are the protecting wall around me. I recognize that just because I live in Your city does not mean I am immune to attack, so may I be vigilant in guarding the work You have done in my life. May I be careful with who I let influence me, always being alert. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!