A willing sacrifice!
As leaders of families, ministries, or churches, sacrifice should be second nature to us.
And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.
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A willing sacrifice!
The people of Israel are re-establishing themselves in the land. They have been returning from exile in waves. In Jerusalem, the temple has been rebuilt and the walls of the city have recently been rebuilt. The city itself does not have a lot of people living in it. Most of the people who returned went to the land that was their ancestral inheritance.
Jerusalem was the center of Hebrew worship. It was there that the temple of God was located. It was there that the only altar for making sacrifices to God was found. Jerusalem was the city that God said that he would live in among the children of Israel. Jerusalem was and still is a very important city to the nation of Israel.
The leaders determined that there were not enough people living in the city to maintain it and the temple of God and so they determined that some people would need to leave their ancestral homes to come and live in Jerusalem. They determined that one out of every ten would come and live in Jerusalem. To determine who would make the move they cast sacred lots to determine God’s will in the matter.
There were some who willingly volunteered to make this move. They could see the need and decided to meet the need. This was a sacrifice. It meant moving away from their ancestral home to go and live in the city of Jerusalem. It is not possible to know the level of significance of this sacrifice, but it was enough that the other people recognized it and commended those who would do such a thing.
Life is filled with opportunities to sacrifice something that is important or valuable to you for the needs of others or the greater good. As leaders of families, ministries, or churches, sacrifice should be second nature to us. It should be something that we do almost without thinking. But there will come times when there is a need to give up something very valuable to us. And the question will be ‘Will God have to tell you to give it up or will you volunteer to give it up?’
Some of the people were told to leave their homes and move to Jerusalem. Others went voluntarily. Those who chose to move to Jerusalem received the commendation of their peers. We don’t do our deeds to be seen by men, but you should note that the only people who were recognized by God by being recorded in Scripture were the ones who volunteered to move to Jerusalem. Men noticed their choice but that is recorded so that we know that God noticed their choice. Life is all about our choices. Jesus, help us to move toward You with all our choices.