These are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken captive (they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own town, in company with Zerubbabel, Joshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum and Baanah):The list of the men of Israel:…………(please see list in your Bible) …..63 And from among the priests:the descendants of Hobaiah, Hakkoz and Barzillai (a man who had married a daughter of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by that name). 64 These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. 65 The governor, therefore, ordered them not to eat any of the most sacred food until there should be a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim.66 The whole company numbered 42,360, 67 besides their 7,337 male and female slaves; and they also had 245 male and female singers. 68 There were 736 horses, 245 mules,[ 69 435 camels and 6,720 donkeys.” NIV

Reading this chapter caused me to think of a Christian lady who said she loved to do ‘boring’ jobs. By this she meant that she was happy to work behind the scenes, doing certain things some people might regard as ‘boring’. But such work is always important in the church, and certain vital things that need to get done won’t be achieved without it.

As I indicated yesterday, you may not find this to be the most inspiring part of Nehemiah, but it underlines for me the importance of lists, of names, of numbers, of record keeping and book keeping (financial recording) – of administration and organisation. Church life would be chaotic without it. Everything should be done ‘’decently and in order.’’

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for all the work done faithfully behind the scenes to make the public ministry of the church possible. Thank you for those who do it.