Summary: As you look at our passage today, you will notice that it is just a list of names—names we don’t recognize and that we can’t pronounce. So why are they important? Because all of these people were everyday people just like we are, and God loves everyday pe

Even though we only read the first 3 verses of chapter 11, our passage tonight goes all the way through verse 26 of chapter 12. So what all is contained in this passage? It’s just another name list. It’s a list of plain, ordinary, everyday people. I don’t know anybody like that, do you? The fact is, we’re all just a bunch of plain, ordinary, everyday people. If someone was to find our membership roll a few generations from now, what do you think they’ll find? Just a list of names. Miranda and I went through a box of her grandmother’s stuff a few months ago. She had saved newspaper clippings that we have no clue why she saved them. She has pictures in that box of people we have no idea who they were. I don’t want to depress you, but 100 years from now, nobody’s going to remember us. Look through this list of people. If you’re lucky, you might recognize a couple of names. So if we don’t recognize any of these names and can’t pronounce most of them, why are they important? Because all of these people on this list were regular everyday people just like we are. And God loves everyday people. As a matter of fact, God has chosen to work His plan through everyday people. If I was God, I would have only chosen to use the best and the brightest people. I would have only chosen extremely gifted and talented people to execute my plan. But I’m not God. And 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 describes His plan. “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” God has chosen to accomplish His mighty will through the use of weak and frail vessels. He has chosen to blow the minds of so-called wise people using simple people. He has chosen to use people who will not even leave a smudge in history books to build His eternal kingdom. That’s what He did with the remnant. And that’s what He’s doing 25 centuries later, here at Brushfork Baptist Church. This long passage shows us that God has chosen to work His plan through everyday people in three ways. Through the calling of everyday people, through the placement of everyday people, and through the ongoing work of everyday people. First, let’s look at the calling of everyday people. Go back to Nehemiah 11:1-2:


God works His plan through the calling of everyday people. You remember back to when the remnant had just completed the wall in chapter 7. Nehemiah makes a comment in 7:4 that sheds some light on what was going on in our passage. He said, “Now the city was large and great: but the people were few therein, and the houses were not builded.” They had just completed the wall, but their work was not finished. Jerusalem was uninhabited for the most part. When all the workers went back to their farms, its streets were empty. The houses and infrastructure were still in ruins. Somebody needed to live there to make it a viable and thriving city. That was the problem. The question before them now was how to solve that problem. How do you get people to leave their rural family farms to move to the city? Not just moving to the city, but moving to a city that was still in ruins. You’re house in the country is nice and has been in your family for two or three generations. Now I want you to move to Jerusalem and start restoring a pile of rocks to live in. Oh, and by the way, you’re going to lose your farming income. While you’re at it you’re going to have to come up with a new way to make a living. Everybody didn’t need to pick up and move. They only needed 10% of the people to go. God didn’t ask for everyone to go, He only asked for a tithe. So that’s who He called. There are several things we can notice about this call. The call wasn’t spectacular. They didn’t look for miraculous signs from God or listen for bells and whistles to go off. Do you know what they did to decide who would go and who would stay? They drew straws! Well, okay, the text says that they cast lots. We can get into a big long discussion about casting lots, but the point is that God called these people to their different positions using very ordinary means. Now, I have no doubt that God can call people in all sorts of ways. I think that rarely, He might choose to be really dramatic about it. But if anything, that is the exception to the rule. Most of the time, God calls everyday people using everyday methods. He might call you through the use of the nominating committee. He might call you through the use of a vacant position you hear about. He might even call you through your dissatisfaction about the way things are being done in a certain area. Most of the time God calls everyday people through very unspectacular means. The call was unspectacular and it involved sacrifice. As I said before, can you imagine being asked to leave your well-established home and move to a new place? So, let’s list all of the advantages to moving to Jerusalem. You’re going to lose your income. You’re going to lose your well-established house. And you’re going to have to live in rubble for a while until you can your new place all fixed up. I would say that the call involved sacrifice. And with that sacrifice came willingness. Here’s what I find amazing. Everybody was willing to make that sacrifice. This goes back to the way they had to choose who went and who stayed. The only reason that you would have to cast lots is if more than 10% of the people volunteered. Would we ever cast lots in this church to make a decision? I would love to. Say that we needed 30 people to work in AWANAs. Now, imagine if 75 people volunteered but we could only handle 30. I would be the first one to stand up and cheer the fact that we had to draw straws to decide who would get to work. That’s what they were doing. Everybody volunteered to make the sacrifice of living in Jerusalem. Nobody had to sell them on the idea. Nobody had to guilt them into it. They all raised their hands and said, “I’ll go.” And because of that, everybody celebrated. They celebrated and blessed those who got to go. God calls everyday people. His call is rarely spectacular. It always involves sacrifice. And it works best and is cause for celebration when everybody is willing. That’s how God works His plan. He works it by calling everyday people like you and me. He also works it by putting everyday people in the right place. Look at verse 3:

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