That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man…
I. CONSIDER THE MEANING OF FAITHFULNESS. It is the reverent and constant acceptance of those duties springing out of the relations in which I inevitably stand. Man is a being set in relations. When the ivy climbs up ruins and binds lovingly the fallen stones together, and wraps them in its green, it clambers and winds about and helps and beautifies because of the feelers it thrusts out, laying hold, by them, of the crumbling stones. It is the nature of the ivy to force these feelers out. So forth from every man there are shooting feelers of relations. They are part of his life-endowment.
1. Man is bound into relation with God. God is Creator — Father — Providence and Sustainer — King and Judge.
2. Men and women are bound to each other in the relation of father and mother, and child and relative, and fellow-citizen, and so on endlessly. Springing out of these relations there are forced upon us certain duties. Faithfulness is accepting and steadily discharging them.
II. FAITHFULNESS IS A CHANCE OPENING RIGHT AT THE FEET OF EVERY MAN FOR A NOBLE LIFE.
III. FAITHFULNESS IS AN OPEN DOOR FOR A RIGHT AMBITION — to develop a noble character. Thus we may lift humdrum from our daily life. There is nothing so invigorating as the consciousness of recognising and accepting duty. The peace of a quiet conscience is in it.
1. Thus I am sure of setting a right example.
2. Thus I shall certainly make my life tell in all directions.
IV. A REWARD OF FAITHFULNESS. Nehemiah gave Hananiah charge over Jerusalem because "he was a faithful man."
V. THE REAL SOURCE AND INCITEMENT OF FAITHFULNESS. He "feared God." Think of Milton as holding himself "as ever in his great Taskmaster's eye." Policy, expediency, self-interest may seem to hold a man to duty in fair weather. The only lasting motive for faithfulness for all times is God.
(Wayland Hoyt, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.