A Study in Nehemiah: Do Not Discount Family

Do Not Discount Family

By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte


Nehemiah 11:10-13 (NASB)

From the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin, Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the overseer of the house of God, and their kinsmen who did the work of the temple, 822; and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malchijah, and his kinsmen, heads of fathers’ households, 242; and Amashsai the son of Azarel, the son of Ahzai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer…”


aerial photography of mountain


Those returning from Babylonian exile had settled in outlying towns, many didn’t want to disrupt their family life and move into the city of Jerusalem; this is only one of the various reasons the city remained unpopulated. Today we will look at a few more of those chosen to move into the city.

In Verse 10 and 11 we have a list from the priestly lines. I have mentioned this before, but I think it is worth mentioning, I struggle with genealogy in the Bible. My eyes glaze over and I skim past the long list of names, however, this time God had me slow down.

Genecology, as hard as it may be to pronounce all of the names, and as boring as it may seem has a purpose. God uses this tool to show the line of the Messiah, and that it remained pure. He also showed that the people were worthy to serve in the office of priest.

The priests were the ones who served as an intermediary between God and His people. They should have been the first to set up camp in the city, yet, for whatever reason they didn’t. God did not admonish these men; rather He listed them by name, as well as their family.

In verses 12 and 13 the kinsmen who performed the work in the temple were listed by name, plus temple workers and additional 822 men, then we have their kinsmen and the heads of their father’s household, plus an additional 242 men. To rebuild God’s holy city. His “City on a Hill” God needed leaders, heads of households, and those who their family would up to in hard times. God needed leaders who would see their true calling be the first to walk in God’s call on their life.

Proverbs 2:6-8 (NASB)

For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice, And He watches over the way of His godly ones.


What can we learn from Nehemiah?

· We need leaders who will be the first to step into a difficult situations with integrity.

· Be the leader others can look up to and see Jesus.

· Be the head of the home others look to for direction.

· Family is important.

· Don’t be afraid to walk in our calling, and do what God has called us to do.


As we look back on Thanksgiving and forward to Christmas and the new year, we will be reflecting on family. Some of us have wonderful families that we look forward to seeing, others of us are alone, and still others may have family to whom they are estranged. No matter where you are in life during this season, know that our Heavenly Father is our true leader and guide.


Psalm 68:4-6 (NASB)

Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Exalt Him who rides through the deserts,
Whose name is the Lord, and be jubilant before Him. A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, Is God in His holy dwelling. 6 He makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious live in parched lands.


What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?

  1. What family am I discounting?
  2. How am I being a good member of my own family?
  3. What can I learn from my past that will make me more of the person God wants me to be for my family?
  4. What kind of head of household am I to my family?


Take a few minutes and pray for the leaders in your family; whether we agree with them or not God calls us to pray for our leaders.

So many of the people in this passage are not named. Just as the nameless workers and leaders of our faith who work tirelessly without recognition, pray for those who do the everyday work for God.


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