“Beyond them, Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs in front of their house; and next to them, Azariah son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, made repairs beside his house.”
Last time we looked in on the priests from the surrounding region throwing in and rebuilding. Today we see the next repairs being made and the names of the men are spectacular.
Just the name Benjamin can be a word for us. The Holy Scriptures often refer to the right hand – of kings and the God of Angel Armies alike. We even say someone is “his right-hand man.” A person who does things in accordance to the will of the one giving orders.
And of course our Savior is seated at the right hand of God Almighty.
Could we be so immersed in Him and His Word and His people and His purposes in our generation that we would be sons or daughters of His right hand? That we would go and choose rightly? Be followers of Him to the degree we do things in accordance to His will – even if it contradicts our own?
I think we must. Our times demand it. Perhaps in previous days we could get away with being unaware or half-hearted. But during our days here we must be immersed in our First Love. Which always means being immersed in the Word He breathed, the communion of saints He loves, and the fingerprints of His Spirit on this terrestrial ball.
Make sure daily in your heart you’ve crowned Him LORD of all.
Our next rebuilder’s name is Chashshub whose name comes from the Hebrew word chashab – to consider, compose, design, purpose, weave. You know, all those action words have something in common: they take time. Meditating and ruminating; purposefully weaving together all aspects of a situation.
Oh friends, how are we doing with that? Do we slow down enough in our lives and hearts to ponder? Do we put down our electronic devises enough to consider? Could we purposefully compose and design a loving, thoughtful statement about the world in which we live? If any of that is not true of you, take a deep breath. We can choose today to slow down. We can put down the news and pick up the Word, which always points us to His heart and washes our minds with perspective like a crisp, cool stream. We can stop worrying about how we did yesterday and just be faithful today.
The final rebuilder listed in this verse is Azariah, whose name means “Yah has helped.” Which makes me smile because the above paragraph is all true. But unless Yahweh helps us, our actions will be nothing more than actions. We are desperate for His help. Fortunately He has sent us a Helper – One closer to us now than when Jesus walked bodily beside His disciples on earth. His very job is to help. He intercedes, guides, opens hearts, tears down the veil. And, yes, He convicts the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement.
Of course there’s a way to trust this foundation and not repel everyone around us. It is one thing to trust Him and His words and be arrogant about it. It’s another to trust Him and His words and lay down our lives for those who may not or who are searching or are wounded and hurting and can’t even hear His words until they’ve first experienced love and understanding from His people. Let’s be those who love well as we trust well. Only His Spirit can help us do that.
The final names listed in today’s verse are not rebuilders themselves, but rather Azaraiah’s father and grandfather. His father’s name is Maaseiah – from maaseh (work, accomplishments) and Yah. Or more specifically, “the work is a product of Yahweh.” Yes.
And Maaseiah’s father is Ananiah – from anan and Yah meaning “Yah has covered” or “Yahweh has manifested Himself.” This word anan is so interesting and can mean anything from sorcery to observing. Because it is in reference to the One of perfect character, we know we can scratch sorcery for our purposes today. The Creator of all has no need for magic tricks.
But I’m delighted both by “Yah has covered” and “Yah has manifested Himself.” I suppose the work of the Spirit can look a lot like soothsaying and magic to those who simply want to profit from Him. But as we pray for eyes to see, He shows us the way He manifests Himself is as Sovereign King of the Universe. He sees and knows all and He genuinely has our times covered.
Now to we humans, what this can look like is being an observer of our times. Not in anxious speculation but in faithful trust. The burden isn’t on us to be perfect observers, but to pay attention – then remember the work is of Yah.
There is rebuilding to be done, friends. Sometimes in front of our own houses. Pray with me to faithfully do and prayerfully trust. To slowly observe and genuinely love.
The work is of Yah.