Sometimes I find the most thought-provoking phrases buried in the middle of passages in the Bible that seem somewhat obscure. Take this line from the book of Nehemiah, where we read who’s rebuilding which section of the Jerusalem wall…
The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.
This chapter lists all kinds of people working on the wall: priests (including the high priest) … goldsmiths … perfume-makers … temple servants … mayors … even Shallum’s daughters. Everyone, it seems, was willing to pitch in except these nobles.
Many times in the Old Testament this Hebrew word for nobles is used to describe God Himself. In other words, these nobles thought they were far too important to put their shoulders to the work.
Jesus washed feet. The noblest of us all came to earth to serve even the lowest of the servants.
Which do you think was really the most noble?
How noble do you want to be?