Quality Workers – Nehemiah 7-9
Have you ever had the responsibility of leading and managing a group of workers or employees? If so, I am sure you have some definite ideas about the kind of people that make the best workers. I imagine your preference is for the person who is teachable. One who will accept the information, make it their own, and hold themselves to that standard or even higher. This person may require some investment upfront, but once established they are strong and consistent because they have expectations of themselves.
This is what we see from the ‘Quality Workers’ Nehemiah describes in chapters seven, eight, and nine.
Reading the beginning of chapter eight, it is striking to me that the people (these workers) asked Ezra to read the Book of the Law of Moses to them. They showed a hunger for the Word of God. They desired to know His expectations so they could apply it to their lives. Look at the picture painted by these excerpts from verses 2 and 3; “Ezra the priest brought the Book of the Law before the assembly, which included the men and women and all the children old enough to understand … from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law.” If you read further you will see that they were standing for this three-hour period while Ezra read the Law to them. Their desire for the Word was stronger than their desire for physical comfort. This shows a great desire to know the standard.
Chapter nine then tells us how these workers applied what they learned in the Law. They separated themselves from all foreigners, confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord their God (verses 2,3). When they heard the Law, they evaluated themselves against God’s righteous standard. When they saw where they fell short, they confessed these sins and then they released this sin and guilt to God in worship.
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin, this pattern of learning, application, evaluation, confession, and worship is still an effective plan for us, as we desire to be ‘Quality Workers’.