I’m excited to announce that we are done with the wives of kings and mothers of kings. No more, his mother’s name was… and he followed the Lord, or his mother’s name was… and he did evil in the sight of the Lord.

No, in today’s bonus episode we move into the book of Nehemiah. Now, when I was in college, I had a preacher who spent probably a year or so preaching through the book of Nehemiah. As a result, I fell in love with that book. But it’s been awhile, and I don’t recall reading about Shallum’s daughters. But I’m glad to have discovered them now. 

Nehemiah is a fascinating book. It’s a tale of a devastated Jerusalem being rebuilt by the cooperative efforts of many individuals. It’s a book about leadership, unique talents, and hard work. 

I love chapter 3. It’s a laundry list of the many individuals who participated in the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem. It goes section by section, telling who did what to the wall.

And then it gets to verse 12 and says, “Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters.”

How cool is that? In the midst of priests and rulers and men of the city, Shallum’s daughters worked on a section of the wall. Can you picture them?

So often we get discouraged as women feeling limited in what we can do. But when the need is great and the workers are few, women who are willing to get a little dirt under their fingernails are always appreciated. This was men’s work, but Shallum enlisted the help of his daughters and they willingly served alongside the men.

What about you? Are there needs around you, but you ignore them because, well, they’re hard work? Maybe it involves manual labor. Maybe it just means stepping out of your comfort zone. It couldn’t have been easy for Shallum’s daughters to build a section of wall. But they saw a need, and they filled the need. Are you willing to do the same?

Lord God, thank you for this reminder of how we must always be willing to serve You however You ask. Give us the courage to step out and do hard things. Give us the skills we need to complete the tasks that You have for us. Forgive us when we give in to our laziness. Help us to resist the urge to sit around helplessly when all around us is work to be done. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.