Who would willingly offer themselves for an unpleasant duty? I have always been amazed at WWII veterans. The number of men who jumped excitedly at the call. Many were like Audie Murphey, a native Texan who falsified his birth certificate to join the Army at age 16!
He is considered the most decorated soldier of WW2: Medal of Honor, distinguished service Cross, 2 silver star, legion of merit, 3 bronze stars, 3 purple hearts, army good conduct medal, 2 distinguished unit citation, American campaign medal, 9 European African middle eastern campaign medals, world war 2 victory medal, and a slew of other medals! He was willing to willing offer himself in service for his country, along with so many others… but why? Many would say for love of country… others would say a sense of duty… the heart issue was that they cared more for others than themselves.
The population problem at Jerusalem was given in great detail in chapter 7, and now the solution has come. Lots were going to be drawn to see who would have to live in Jerusalem. A city that was under threat of attack, and under guarded. It was definitely not a desirable place to live, and this is why the lottery had to happen.
In the midst of this undesirable situation, there were those who willing offered themselves to this unpleasant task. They showed a spirit of Philippians 2 and Romans 12, preferring others and loving without dissimulation.
We need men and women of faith who are willing to go the distance, and count the cost. Be willing to put others first, and defer to one another.
In 1945, after Audie Murphy had already received 2 purple hearts for being wounded (shrapnel in heel and sniper shot through hip) and having achieved so much and sacrificed so much through years of warfare. Once again Murphey would prove his willingness to sacrifice.
The Germans were able to direct hit a M10 tank destroyer which was set ablaze. Murphy ordered his men to retreat to the woods behind them, and he alone remained in the position. He began shooting his rifle drawing enemy fire to his position. He called in artillery fire from his position with a radio, and finally mounted the burning tank and began firing the .50 caliber machine gun at advancing Germans.
He stayed for over an hour fighting, was shot in the leg, but continued to fight. He retreated to his men after running out of ammo… in his stand he had killed or wounded over 50 Germans. He then, wounded, led a successful counter attack… for this he was awarded the medal of honor. What causes men to do such things… to sacrifice so much…they willingly offered themselves.
Daily Scripture Reading
Nehemiah 10 - 11
And the people blessed all the men, that willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.
• Why are the list of those who signed the covenant given?
• What was the obligations of the Covenant?
• What does it mean that some willingly offered themselves?
• What were the villages outside Jerusalem?
• Why are the names given of those who moved to these locations?