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June 24 – Gathered by the Lord 

“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 ten remained in the other towns.” – Nehemiah 11:1 

Scripture reading: Nehemiah 11:1-36

In chapter 7, we were told that the walls were built, yet the city was empty. The city must be filled, but who will go? The people cast lots, and 1 of 10 would go. Imagine this: for every person there was a 10% chance that they would pack up and move to a vacant lot in Jerusalem. Not easy. Jerusalem had walls, but the city was despised by many neighbours. Many people had been putting down roots in their villages. They would have to leave neighbours they trust, vineyards they built, and family nearby. A move involves sacrifice. But they know their faith, hope and future are in the Lord. They will not neglect the temple.

Why were lots used? Because while not everyone needed to move, the responsibility was on them all. We read in verse 2 that those selected went willingly with the blessing of the people. What do we see here? The temple will not be neglected, and the ministry of knowing and worshipping God will be supported.

For us today, the time of the temple has been fulfilled. Now the Spirit goes out, and each believer is a temple. The church is the hub of God’s work. Today the calling of every believer is to be a prophet, priest, and king in this world. This means we don’t value our location or vocation above the work of God. Those things are temporary and God’s work is eternal. May we see how the Lord Jesus is gathering us and may we serve Him joyfully.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord that you can belong to Him and to the body of believers. Ask the Lord to help you live more and more attached to Him and His work and not to the temporary things of this world.

Rev. Simon Lievaart currently serves Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. Prior to this, he served the United Reformed Church in Doon, IA. Rev. Lievaart grew up in southern Alberta, attended Redeemer University College and Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at

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