A Bad Epitaph

The book of Nehemiah is well known among many Christians for the tale of Nehemiah leading the people of Judah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. We remember Nehemiah praying as he spoke to the king. We remember Nehemiah standing strong in the face of opposition. We remember Ezra and Nehemiah opening the word of God to call the people to repentance. But do we remember the Tekoites?


Chapter 3 of Nehemiah lists for us the names of the families and clans who built up sections of the walls of Jerusalem. Each group was responsible for working a section, and as they worked together, the walls came up. Every group has a positive thing said about them, except for one.


Nehemiah3:5 – And next to them the Tekoites repaired, but their nobles would not stoop to serve their Lord.


The nobles of the Tekoites would not stoop to serve their Lord. How sad. How terrifying. Can you imagine if that was the only thing written about you and it was preserved in Scripture forever? This is a big deal, and we should learn from it.


God has always wanted his people to work together. That was true in Nehemiah’s day. It is true for the modern church. We are supposed to join together, to serve one another, to help each other out, and to all contribute to the task at hand. None of us is exempt from the call to serve. Whether rich or poor, young or old, male or female, educated formally or informally, you are supposed to jump in with the rest to get the job of the church done.


How might you be called to serve in the church? How might you be called to serve the mission of Christ? It could be evangelism and missions. It could be in helping the congregation to worship. It could be in giving. It could be in simple acts of service. It could be in counseling those in need. It could be in offering care and love for someone who is hurting. It could be in preaching or teaching. It could be in prayer and leading others to pray.


Here is the point: Do not be like the nobles of the Tekoites. Do not refuse to stoop to serve your Lord. Serve, even when there is no prize in it for you. Serve, even when it is hard. Serve, even when others do not see it. Serve, even when it is not clean or simple. Serve, even when it costs you free time. Let us be a people who serve the Lord and who honor him by serving the body of Christ, the local church, where god has placed us.