“The God of heaven will grant us success” (2.20). Brilliant! Bring out the sun loungers, crack open the bubbly, hang up the streamers. Success is on its way. It is. But success in God’s plans means toil. It means people coming together, praying, planning, swallowing their differences and working together in order to achieve something lasting for God. Success means the people of God dedicating themselves to God’s work to achieve something which only hard work and plentiful grace could ever achieve. No toil, no triumph.
Now is the time for work. The chapter is a flurry of activity. In all of the detail, notice these points:
Repair isn’t fun, but it is necessary. Most people like a new project, but very few like having to make an old project good again. That is their call, though. Rebuilding and repair are the key projects. So, a question: are we prepared to make a bad job good? Are we prepared to put in the work to make an old ministry effective again, or a decaying relationship a vibrant one again? That sort of work takes humility and perseverance. Have we got what it takes?
Some people will always be too important. The church has its “nobles”, those who are too important for hard work (v.5). The self-appointed important people never bow to anyone else’s instructions. Unteachability and a proud heart are a blight in the church. Those who stand on their rights never bow to the Saviour.
If you get grace, no job is too low for you. Malkijah’s name was mud – rather, it came to be associated with it . Malkijah rebuilt the Dung Gate (v.14). That’s a dubious honour, isn’t it? There probably wasn’t a queue of people contending for that job. But thereagain, there wasn’t a queue for the Cross, was there?
Enjoy this chapter. Learn from it. And get to work, with others. No job in the Kingdom is unimportant, and none is beneath you.
A Prayer to Pray
Lord of the Cross of shame, fill my cold heart again with love for You, my Saviour and my Master. Lord, that is my prayer, that I might be filled with love for the Lord who undertook everything necessary for my salvation. May I commit myself again in Your Spirit’s power to the work of Your heart, Your Kingdom. Make me a servant, Lord. Amen.