Not every job is glorious. There are some jobs that are just downright crappy. Necessary, but they kind of stink. Mike Rowe stars in the Discovery show, “Dirty Jobs.” In the show he find the filthiest jobs in America and then does them. He discovers that there are necessary jobs out there that few people want to do. There’s a guy in the book of Nehemiah who had one of those jobs.
Nehemiah 3:14 The Dung Gate was repaired by Malkijah son of Rekab, ruler of the district of Beth Hakkerem. He rebuilt it and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place.
It was called the Dung Gate. What do you think was somewhere nearby? That’s right: something that stunk. This couldn’t have been the most desired job in the rebuilding process. There were many places on the wall and gates to rebuild. Yet someone needed to rebuild the Dung Gate. Malkijah was that guy. This job stinks!
When I was reading Nehemiah 3 today, I found the details of this situation amusing. Prior to verse 14 is a listing of all the other gates that were rebuilt and who built them. In the case of the other gates, they were rebuilt by a team of people. The smallest team was 2 people, but most of the work on the other gates and areas of the wall was done by a group of people. Not the Dung Gate. Apparently, no one signed up for that one. Poor Malkijah got the job; maybe he had the least seniority. And so he worked, alone, with the “help wanted” sign still hanging from the wall.
There’s something I appreciate about Malkijah that he probably doesn’t get credit for. He did the crappiest job on this whole project. It wasn’t beneath him. He just did it. Sometimes we tend to think that we are “above” some things. We leave the little stuff, the stinky stuff, to the little people. Yet Jesus calls us all to become little people. THAT is the path to greatness.
In the words of Jesus: “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Where can you serve today?