The rest of the Israelites, with the priests and Levites, were in all the towns of Judah, each on their ancestral property. The temple servant lived on the hill of Ophel, and Ziha and Gishpa were in charge of them. – Neh 11:20-21
Reading through some of Nehemiah can be a bit daunting with all the strange names and places. It, amazingly enough, almost reads like a history buff. Now I am no history buff and I am usually willing to kinda skip over these parts, especially when it encompasses a whole chapter. However, lately I have been disciplining myself to read these chapter especially.
Why? Because this is history. This is my history and your history, if you are found in Christ. These are the Jewish people and they are real and their lives were real. I know at some point in all of our lives, we find a place of doubt and ask ourselves, “Is this real, this God stuff?” The answer is YES.
Here in Nehemiah 11 I am reading about real people, rebuilding a real wall. All of the historical texts confirm the information in the Bible is not only true, but accurate. As a matter of fact, the Scriptures have passed the most rigorous of historical tests and it has come to be one of the most reliable of historical texts.
So, if the history is true, then far be it from me to question the other information in the Scriptures. Reading these sections of text embolden my resolve and belief in the Word of God. It also ties me personally to the Jewish people and their lives. These are real people, just like you and I, which gives me time to pause and feel what they felt and see what they saw and that gives me perspective.
Perspective can influence our beliefs greatly. I don’t want people to walk away from Scripture thinking that was a nice story and a good moral point. No, we must walk away believing that the people and events are true, because they shape our everyday life.