MDB 15: Nehemiah 12

Nathan Shurden

"...and they purified the people."--Nehemiah 12:30

Noah, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon and Elijah are names that would show up on any "who's who" list of important biblical characters. Whole books and sermon series have been devoted to each of these men, and many more I'm sure will be written and preached in the future.

But what about those who don't make the most important biblical character lists? Men like Sallu the son of Meshullam, Adaish of the son of Jeroham, or Mica son of Zida, and the countless numbers of other ordinary people in the Bible and throughout church history? Are they equally important to the fulfillment of God's redemptive plan?

Nehemiah's resounding answer is, "Yes!" Throughout the book of Nehemiah, we are introduced to lists and lists of faithful men and women who served as assistants and associates, deputies and doorman in the house of God. They are the "no names" in the Kingdom of God, except Nehemiah takes the time to name them. And that's important.

Reflecting on this point, A.R. Vidler wishes we knew more, "...about the ordinary life of Christian people in parishes and congregations which has gone on steadily from generation to generation and without which there would be no church history worth mentioning." The names and lives of such men and women may never be recounted on earth or anthologized in some important tome of Christian history, but their story is always remembered... remembered for heaven.

The stories of millions of ordinary faithful Christians who acted in ordinary faithfulness--ushering during worship, teaching Sunday school, leading Vacation Bible School, visiting the ill, praying with the brokenhearted, showing hospitality to the marginalized--play an essential role in the building of the Church.

Take hope and stay the course! Plod along in faithfulness, facing the tasks that lay before you. God is at work building His church, and he is doing it through you.