Do you know who Ginnethon is? What about Bilgai? No? Then how about Kelita and Beninu? You don’t know those either? They’re all from the same list. Here are two more that should help: Magpiash and Hallohesh. Still don’t know? What if I mentioned that they are part of a list of more than eighty people? Still no clue? Well, I’m not surprised. I could not have ventured a guess as to the identity of any of these people. If I had been told (or had told you) that the name of Nehemiah headed the list, then I (or you) might have been able to hazard a reasonable guess as to their identity. What is remarkable is that God knows who they are and has been pleased to record their names in His eternal Word that is forever settled in heaven (see: Psa. 119:89).
Who exactly were these six men? The first pair were priests; the second pair were Levites; and the third pair were the chiefs, or leaders, of the people. They were among some 80+ people whose names were recorded by Nehemiah as having gathered following the restoration from Babylon to sign a covenant that they would be faithful to God’s law. These, “and the rest of the people,” as Nehemiah documented it, “the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims [temple servants], and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding; They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our God, and his judgments and his statutes” (Neh. 10:28, 29).
Secular history records the names and deeds of people who were significant in human government (Thomas Jefferson), war (Napoleon), industry (Henry Ford), and the arts (Michelangelo), but whose names and exploits will disintegrate in time like the crumbling pages on which their deeds have been recorded. God, on the other hand, records in the library of heaven the names and actions of those who have made a covenant with Him to be faithful to Him.
Many have been the people who have devoted their time and their energy to acquiring personal fame and fortune. Some of those have actually succeeded in wresting their fifteen minutes of fame from an easily distracted public. Others with nobler intent, like the signers of the Declaration of Independence, have pledged their lives, their fortune, and their sacred honor to a noble cause and have justly been remembered by history. Both alike, however, have faded or will soon fade from memory. Only what God values will last. Only what God preserves will endure.
As for the names of those men listed at the top of this page, millennia have passed with only a miniscule few giving any thought to them. But God has not forgotten them—nor will He. How He rejoices in—how He preserves—how He blesses those who do great exploits! Not necessarily exploits of the hand, but exploits of the heart. The man determined to be a faithful witness for the Lord among his brash and scornful factory co-workers, the mother determined to raise her child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, the boy who refuses to go along with his classmates in some sin—these are those whom the Lord remembers. You may never be remembered by the world as a great Winston Churchill, but you may be remembered by the Lord as a faithful Kelita.
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