by Mark Clements

Wednesday, April 17

People Are Chosen To Live in Jerusalem

Nehemiah 11:1-19

“And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts to dwell in other cities. And the people blessed all the men, that willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem,” Nehemiah 11:1, 2.

Now that the wall was completed around the city of Jerusalem and order had been restored, it was important that it be populated by people. If the city was left uninhabited, it would increase the likelihood that it would be overrun and destroyed again by outsiders. More importantly, if worship in the Temple and the sacrificial system were to be restored, a healthy infrastructure of citizens was needed to support it. In order to determine who would move from outside to inside the city, lots were cast. One out of ten people were selected to move into the city limits. Even though they were selected by lot, they moved to the city willingly and received the blessing of the people for doing so.

This snapshot in the history of Israel is a reminder of the importance of proximity in biblical community. Often it is necessary for believers to physically relocate due to jobs, schools or family needs. Many times, the consideration for where to live is determined by housing costs, neighborhoods, quality of schools or other factors. What if more Christians determined where to live based upon how close they would be to the church of their membership? In order for churches to remain healthy, it is important for its members to maintain a close brotherhood. This is enhanced when members actually live close to each other and support the work of the church. Consider what you can do to gather around fellow church members more often.

JUST A THOUGHT: The closer we are the stronger we are.

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