-As time was beginning to pass now with the walls completed and a renewal of the covenant with their God, living arrangements became an important concern now in the holy city. The leaders of the people lived in Jerusalem, making it once again the capital area of importance, but lots had to be cast to bring one out of every ten to come live in this sparsely populated walled city. All the people blessed those who volunteered to live in Jerusalem away from their inheritance. The heads of provinces who lived in Jerusalem are listed with a type of census counting them in number. Among these were the Israelites (sons of Judah and Benjamin), the priests, the Levites, the Temple servants, and the descendants of Solomon’s servants (Nehemiah 11:1-36).
*Application* Moving into the city from their inheritance would have been a monumental sacrifice of reestablishing their homes and businesses, which would have meant a major investment of time and money. No wonder all the people blessed those who would take this on voluntarily. Living in the holy city would have also confronted people constantly with a holy God and His Word in that place. This was probably intimidating for some because of the accountability factor. The tendency for us humans is the proverbial “out of sight, out of mind.” Now that we are the Temple of God by His indwelling Spirit in the believer (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19-20), what sort of volunteering are we doing? In other words, are we “going in” to live in His presence, which is readily available? The saved who volunteer to abide in Him will produce much fruit and receive more of His blessings (John 15:5-11, Revelation 22:12).
Verse to Memorize: Nehemiah 11:2