“Next to him, Malkijah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs as far as the house of the temple servants and the merchants, opposite the Inspection Gate, and as far as the room above the corner; and between the room above the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and merchants made repairs.”
Last time we leaned in on our God – the Ultimate Authority – bending down in kindness to His children. His perfectly just rules balanced with His perfect mercy. Today we see the final rebuilders listed in chapter 3.
In my Bible, chapter 3 is preceded with a heading “Builders of the Wall.” You may remember we began with the Sheep Gate as we walked through the list of people who threw in on this rebuilding effort. Such diversity, so much we can learn from this section. Today we see the narrative literally come full circle. The builders listed worked all the way up to Sheep Gate.
Seems like a good time to remember that Hebrew word for sheep: tson – flock, lamb. There were no expectations from shepherds that their sheep would know exactly what to do to keep themselves safe. They require a shepherd. So do we. And He is far from begrudging toward us.
The first rebuilder listed is Malkijah, a goldsmith (tsorephi) from the word tsaraph: refine, test, tried, pure. The primary ancient way of refining gold hasn’t changed in our day: a goldsmith heats the liquefied metal and skims off the impurities that rise to the surface.
Our Shepherd-God does that, too, doesn’t He? He allows various trials in our lives that force us to rely on Him and His strength. To remove what’s unnecessary in order to purify our lives. What will make His image in us shine ever more clearly.
Malkijah repaired a long section, opposite the Inspection Gate. Also called Muster Gate, the Hebrew word is Miphqad – appointed place, designated spot. I like that this comes on the heels of being refined. We are not undergoing the process of purification just for purification’s sake. It is so we can do what is necessary in our appointed places. For the sake of those who need to see Him more clearly. To serve those in need of hope. To display His infinite worth.
May we be found faithful.