I recently taught a Bible study entitled; "More Than Most." The title came from a portion of scripture in Nehemiah that tugged at my heart and caused me to stop dead in my tracks. Having read this powerful book in the Bible several times, the statement posed a question in my heart I could not ignore. Later in the evening, I sat before our fellowship and posed the same question... "Are you more than most?"
With intense stares looking back at me, I knew the question had arrested everyone in attendance as it had arrested me early in the day. What did more than most even mean, and why did Nehemiah find it necessary to say about this man he had placed in charge? (Read the verse below)
Nehemiah 7:2 (NIV) "I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do."
As Nehemiah speaks of Hanani he makes sure to let the reader know about Hanani's integrity and fear of God. This is not a casual statement, but one that gives great emphasis to wording you do not often hear or read. Nehemiah states in this portion of scripture why he chose Hanani:
1. A man of integrity
2. A man who fears God "MORE THAN MOST" people do.
If you are anything like me, then you may not have ever thought to ask if someone fears God more than most people. You probably have never thought about the fear of God being measured. But as we read above, Hanani had been set a part from others when it came to how he feared God.
When you define the word more, Webster's Dictionary states:
A. a greater amount that there was before
B. Apart from others
C. Great in amount or degree
Not only was he a man of integrity (faithfulness, reliability, and trustworthiness), he held a reverence for God which speaks to the Father as holy and sacred in a way that was different then others. It was so different, it set him apart and caused Nehemiah to take notice.
In the midst of building a wall and fighting a battle, Nehemiah needed a man who did not fear what was happening around him, but a man who could stand in faith and lead others to seek and see the Lord working on their behalf. Nehemiah understood the measure by which Hanani feared God made him a man he could trust not only to follow his command, but to be led by God and follow God no matter what. He was a leader whose heart was connected to the Father.
It was powerful to see, and yet I still had to answer the question; "Am I more than most? "
As we finished the lesson and everyone went there separate ways, a few of those from our fellowship came to my home. As my husband and I sat sharing, a conversation arose where I had to address something that had happened the night before. While sharing and speaking, I told those in my living room that as much as I knew people would assume I was more than most, the truth was I was more than some.
There was the confession.
I wasn't ashamed, nor was I upset. It was a sober admission and one I was grateful I could say. The truth is for many fearing God is not even a reality. There is a lack of awe we hold for the one who has not only given us things, but has given us everything. Without Him, none of us would exist. That alone should cause our response as creation to be one of adoration and respect. Our lives in reverence should display a dedication and submission to the Lord not because of what He can do, but simply because HE IS GOD!
Hanani showed me who I wanted to become. More than most up until that day may have been good, but it was not great. See I want to be a woman God can rely on, trust and call on. I know He has given me great responsibility, but imagine what He could do if I was MORE THAN MOST!