Tuesday Devotions: A Study in Nehemiah

Bold, Courageous, Callings

By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte

Nehemiah 11:14-18 (NASB)

“14 and their brothers, valiant warriors, 128. And their overseer was Zabdiel, the son of Haggedolim.15 Now from the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni; 16 and Shabbethai and Jozabad, from the leaders of the Levites, who were in charge of the outside work of the house of God; 17 and Mattaniah the son of Mica, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, who was the [e]leader in beginning the thanksgiving at prayer, and Bakbukiah, the second among his kinsmen; and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun. 18 All the Levites in the holy city were 284.”

As we move through the book of Nehemiah, we are in a chapter that is full of the names of those chosen to move into the un-occupied holy city. This chapter, as a whole made me sad to say the least. Jerusalem is God’s holy city. Jerusalem is where the temple is located, and where the Israelite people worshipped God, and where God met them, and yet, for various reasons no one wanted to leave their homes and move into the city. They cast lots as a way of choosing those who would move.

Today, we learn about valiant warriors and leaders from the houses of Benjamin and Levi.

In verse 14 the number of valiant warrior and their brothers is 128 men, and the overseer is listed by name, Zabdiel. Then in verses 15 and 16 we have a list of names of the Levites who were in charge of the outside work of the house of God. In order to protect the house of God, you need those who will care for it, as well as be willing to fight for its safety. It takes both those who are willing to do the menial tasks, as well as those who will receive the recognition. Both are important, and need leadership in order for things to work.

In verses 17 and 18 we have lists of names of the men who will offer thanksgiving and prayers within the city which is an equally important role to play when one thinks of who needs to reestablish God’s city. The warriors need prayer, and all who work valiantly unto the Lord need to give thanks to God in order to keep their morale up to continue in the labor.

We all have a role to play, no matter how big or small, it is significant to God, and it is important in the building of His Kingdom. Jesus wants us not to worry about the recognition of others, rather, He wants us to be bold in our calling, be courageous, and offer thanks to God so others will be encouraged, but most of all He wants us to simply follow Him and He will take care of the rest.

John 21:21-23

21 So Peter, upon seeing him, *said to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?” 22 Jesus *said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” 23 Therefore this account went out among the brothers, that that disciple would not die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but only, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?”

What can we learn from Nehemiah?

· We need to be the person who will boldly walk in our calling and not worry about recognition

· Don’t be afraid to step forward and move into the unoccupied territory. It just may be where God has a specific purpose for our lives

· Lead others in prayer and thanksgiving to God. We all need prayers, and to maintain a life of thanksgiving encourages others to be thankful.

· Don’t worry about others call on their life, follow God.


man reaching hands up high taken at daytime


As we read through the list of names in this chapter, other tribes sent many more men and families, yet the roles of each person was of equal importance. Do not discount what God has called you to do.

Luke 9: 46-48 (NASB)

46 Now an argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. 47 But Jesus, knowing [w]what they were thinking in their hearts, took a child and had him stand by His side, 48 and He said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.”


What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?

  1. As the courageous, valiant men made a move to protect their kinsmen and the city, what am I willing to do to protect my loved ones?
  2. What has God called me to do that I am unwilling to walk in because it may not get recognition?
  3. In what areas of my life am I not thankful? How can I be more thankful?
  4. In God’s eyes, we are all equal. Who do I feel less than?


Take a few minutes and pray for the calling God has placed on your life, and what He is asking you to do to follow Him.




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