Heart of a Shepherd Ministry

Daily Devotional Meditations and a Biblical Perspective on Current Events

Today’s Daily Devotional

Is Your Name Written in Heaven? (Nehemiah 7)

Scripture reading – Nehemiah 7

Click this link to translate this Bible study into Hebrew, Persian, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, German, French, or Portuguese.

Organization of the City (Nehemiah 7:1-4)

With the walls of Jerusalem restored and the gates and doors set in place (Nehemiah 7:1), Nehemiah set about to structure both the civic and religious leadership of the city (Nehemiah 7:1). He appointed gatekeepers (“porters”), singers, and Levites to watch the walls and gates of the city (Nehemiah 7:1). He also appointed his “brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many” (Nehemiah 7:2).

Nehemiah then charged those men with the duty of opening and closing the doors and gates of the city at appointed times (Nehemiah 7:3). Notice also that at night, after the gates of the city were closed, those living in the city and residing along the walls were responsible for keeping watch “over against his house” (Nehemiah 7:3).

Nehemiah also faced another challenge: Jerusalem “was large and great, but the people were few therein, and houses were not builded” (Nehemiah 7:4). With a large city but few inhabitants, Nehemiah faced the challenge of populating Jerusalem.

Organization of the City

A Census and Register of the Citizens of Jerusalem and Judah (Nehemiah 7:5-73)

* The following will be familiar, for it is essentially a parallel of the genealogy that was recorded by Ezra (Ezra 2:1-64).

God then moved on Nehemiah’s heart “to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy” (Nehemiah 7:5a). In preparation for the census, Nehemiah discovered “the genealogy of them which came up [i.e., from Babylon] at the first, and found written therein” (Nehemiah 7:5). There he found the names of those “that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city” (Nehemiah 7:6).

The census by genealogy was a crucial step in rebuilding the nation. Thus, an effort was made to determine those with proof of lineage by tribe, clans, and families (Nehemiah 7:7-60). The census revealed some claimed to be of Israel, but there was no record of their lineage. In other words, “They could not shew their father’s house, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel” (Nehemiah 7:61).

It was also essential that priests could show a direct lineage to Aaron, the first high priest who was the brother of Moses. However, it was discovered that some claimed to be of the priesthood, but their names and families were not recorded (Nehemiah 7:63-64). “Therefore were they, [declared] as polluted, put from the priesthood” (Nehemiah 7:64).

Register of the Citizens

Closing thoughts –

Today’s world has become a melting pot of humanity, and it seems few people give much thought to their lineage and genealogy. Yet, modern DNA tests can trace your bloodline and your ancestral heritage to specific geographical regions worldwide. However, there is something far more important than your physical genealogy…your eternal destiny.

The words of a 19th-century gospel song, written by Mrs. Mary Ann Pepper Kidder (1820-1905), challenge us to ensure our names are written in heaven in the book of life (Luke 10:20; Revelation 20:12-15).

“Lord, I care not for riches, Neither silver nor gold; 
I would be sure of heaven, I would enter the fold.
In the book of Thy kingdom, With its pages so fair, 
Tell me, Jesus, my Savior, Is my name written there?”

Is your name recorded in God’s book? You can be saved and have your name written in the Book of Life by acknowledging that you are a sinner and believing Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead (Romans 10:9).

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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