“Next to him, Hananiah son of Shelemiah, and Hanun, the sixth son of Zalaph, reparied another section. Next to them, Meshullam son of Berekiah made repairs opposite his living quarters.”
Last time we looked in on two rebuilders & their names’ meanings, remembering to listen as we all belong to each other. And putting our ultimate hope in the One Who hears all. Today we see 3 new names and their corresponding rebuild sections.
First is Hananiah (Chananyah) whose name means “Yah has favored.” It comes from the root word chanan – to show favor, grant graciously, to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior. I’ve been thinking so much about discipline as school is back in session. How desperately kiddos in school need to know we care first, before they’re going to have ears to hear our rules. Especially if they have had any sort of trauma.
Makes me think of the way God worked miracle after miracle on behalf of the Israelites before He gave them His commandments. They needed to know deep down He was for them, not against Him. And because He is always good, His commands are always, only for our best. His people could look back at their track record with Him and trust His heart toward them going forward.
What a God. The ultimate in power and Highest Authority, yet how graciously He deals with His children. How He bends in kindness to us, in love. Any command He gives we can trust. Every wound we can walk through with Him. He really has got this, friends.
This is who I esteem:
He Who is humble and contrite in spirit
And trembles at My Word. (Isaiah 66:2)
I love that I read this morning in Esther about the Queen and Mordecai’s decree when in power in the vast empire of Persia. They sent letters to the provinces calling for yearly remembrance of God’s deliverance for His people – in words of peace and truth.
Peace and truth.
How we can’t neglect one or the other. He has walked me through too much for me to not trust Him and His Word. But no one will want to hear it from me if I don’t have a track record of love and service – or if I feel somehow superior to others (Jesus help me) and have not dealt with that pride by kneeling down in kindness to wash feet. To sit with wounds of others and grieve. To lay down fear. To point to the One Who covers all shame.
Such love came at a cost to Him, you know. True love is always sacrificial. In fact the last rebuilder listed in our verses today is Meshullam whose name comes from shalam – to make amends, to finish, to be safe in mind, body, estate.
Yes. He finished it all. He bore what deserved wrath so we can be ultimately safe. We all know that may not be true right now, here. But it is true in the way of the Kingdom. The Kingdom that has begun now as yeast works through dough, as finders sell all to buy the Pearl of Greatest Price. For the One Who always defends orphans and widows; Whose commands include caring for the foreigner and alien. Who regularly works through the underdog and warns us of pride.
This is our God. Let’s bow down.