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WHO ON EARTH IS JEHDEIAH THE MERONOTHITE?
by Philip Owen

            If you have ever been tempted to question the value of your service in the Lord with questions such as:  “My service is so small, does God see?” or, “If He sees, does He really care?” or, “If He cares, does He remember?” then I would suggest a reading (among other places) of chapters twenty-three through twenty-seven of First Chronicles.  It will build up your faith and encourage your faithfulness.  A very brief synopsis of what these chapters record will be sufficient to demonstrate the point that these few paragraphs hope to convey:  no service God requests of us is insignificant.  And it should go without saying that no task, however humble, should we consider to be beneath us.

            What do these chapters contain?  The chronicler lists the sons of Levi—Gershon, Kohath, and Merari and their families.  They were chosen to “assist the sons of Aaron with the service of the house of the Lord, in the courts and in the chambers and in the purifying of all holy things” (23:28).  A partial list of their duties includes responsibility for “the showbread, and the fine flour for a grain offering, and unleavened wafers” (v. 29).  The names of the sons of Asaph are listed along with their various musical responsibilities.  The list then mentions the divisions of the gatekeepers, who kept the gates and which gates they guarded.  Those responsible for the treasury are named followed by those assigned to “outside duties” (26:29).  Chronicles records the names of the commanders of the army and the chief officers of each tribe. 

            But then comes a list that is truly revelatory of God’s intense interest in and concern for His children.  The chronicler names those who were in charge of various storehouses (27:25), those who had charge of the “agricultural workers who tilled the soil” (v. 26), the vineyards and the “produce of the vineyards” (v. 27), the “olive and sycamore trees” (v. 28), the “stores of oil” (v. 28); the cattle that grazed in Sharon and the cattle that grazed in the valleys (v. 29).  The list concludes with the names of specific men who were responsible for the camels, the donkeys, and the flocks (vv. 30, 31). 

            To underline the point by way of comparison:  what history book records the name of the chauffeur for the President of the United States or the butler for the Queen of England?   Who knows who keeps their wardrobes?  On rare occasions, the President’s chef might make the news, but those references are brief and fleeting.  Yet here we have recorded the names of similar individuals—not the movers and shakers, the kings, the generals, the empire builders, but the farm workers, if you will, of a little nation that never numbered more than a few million citizens.

            Does God see even a small service that is done in love and faithfulness?  Absolutely.  Does He care about that service and who performs it?  Absolutely.  Will He remember it?  Absolutely.  The God Who recorded the deeds of Noah, the faith of Abraham, and the exploits of David also noted the service of Jehdeiah the Meronothite, who “had charge of the donkeys” (27:30).  And not only did He remember, He recorded it in His eternal Word to stand forever and forever as a witness to one who took care of some donkeys as unto the Lord.

            We may trust and we must take to heart the Lord’s promise in Matthew’s gospel that “whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward” (10:42).  The least expensive service (a cup of cold water) done for the least significant person (a little child) when done selflessly for the Lord’s sake (in the name of a disciple) is of infinite worth.  Is such a statement hyperbolic foolishness?  The fact that you know the name of Jehdeiah the Meronothite says, “No!”  May we serve the One Who loved us and gave Himself for us.      

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