Nehemiah 11:1 Now the leaders of the people lived in Jerusalem. And the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to live in Jerusalem the holy city, while nine out of tent remained in the other towns.2 And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered to live in Jerusalem.
I’d assumed that the people of Israel would have been excited about a return to Jerusalem. Here was a chance to restore the royal city, the place where their earthly and Heavenly king made their home. The idea of casting lots to decide who was given the amazing privilege of helping with this task seems like a good one. I would have imagined that they had to draw lots as so many people would want to rebuild Jerusalem that there wouldn’t be room for them all.
Verse 2 turns my thoughts on their head. The lottery was needed because not enough people wanted to go. The men who volunteered for the job were the ones that the people blessed, probably out of gratitude that someone else was doing the job. It would have been hard physical work with the constant threat of attacks by enemies who wanted to stop the building work while they still could.
But what a legacy to leave behind, to have their names recorded as the men who stepped up to the task of rebuilding the city and the temple. I’d much rather be one of these men than one of the ones staying behind and blessing them.
Lord give me the boldness to step out and do whatever You call me to do, knowing that I’ll always regret the chances I sidestep.