After the Israelites returned from exile in Babylon, Nehemiah was instrumental in directing the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem. He cared deeply for his people and for the holy city of Jerusalem. He wanted both his people and Jerusalem to be rightly and righteously protected – both physically and spiritually.
Nehemiah used his God-given authority to place others in positions of leadership throughout the city of Jerusalem. Hananiah was one such man.
After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place,
the gatekeepers and the singers and the Levites were appointed.
I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani,
along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel,
because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do.
Nehemiah’s description of Hananiah, a man of integrity, who feared God more than most, is so powerful, so filled with meaning for all of us who seek to be God’s people – whether we are appointed to obvious leadership positions or not.
This description of Hananiah makes me wonder:
Does my integrity – as an individual, as a follower of Christ, in the ways I interact with others, in the ways I fulfill my responsibilities – show as clearly as Hananiah’s?
Is my faith – my fear of God as the Sovereign Lord over all that exists – as obvious to others as was Hananiah’s?
Are my integrity and my faith in God consistent? Always? In all circumstances?
Or do my integrity and my faith show more obviously when I’m in my Christian circles? When I’m in church? Or in a Bible study? Or in a small group? Or on a mission’s trip?
How do my integrity and my faith in God show when I’m at work? Or at school? Or when I’m driving? Or when I’m alone? Or when I’m in a hurry and hassled?
Are my integrity and my faith in God consistent? Always? With all people?
Or do my integrity and my faith in God show more fully when I’m with my favorite people? Or with those easy-to-get-along-with and really fun people? Or with people I want to impress?
How do my integrity and my faith in God show when I’m with those people who disrespect me, dismiss me or dishonor me? Or with those people whose habits annoy me and whose quirks drive me crazy? Or with those people whose life choices are so different from mine?
Our God is one. Always the same. Always love. Always grace and truth. Always faithful.
And our one God wants each of us to be conformed to the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29.) We are to be transformed to be more and more one person. Just as our God is one. We are each to become one consistent person, full of integrity and faith in God – in all of our relationships, in all of our responsibilities, in all places, in all of our interactions with all people, in all that we are, in all that we think, in all that we say and in all that we do. One. Just like God.
In love, peace and purposeful passion,