Have you ever had a verse just get stuck in your heart? Well, I’m sure you have. But I don’t mean a verse that you quote all the time or know quite well. I mean an unusual verse. One not well recognized.
I have one, well, actually more than one. And the more I think about this one, repeat it, or dig into it, the more I love it. So, here it is…
At the end of the list of begats in 1 Chronicles 4, where Jabez and his prayer reside, is this verse:
“These were the potters and those who dwell at Netaim and Gederah;
there they dwelt with the king for his work.”
(1 Chron. 4:23 NKJV)
Not such a great verse, you say? Well, if you read it in the King James or the Masoretic Text (though each is worded slightly different), it says this, “These were the potters, and those who lived among plants and hedges. They lived there with the king for his work.” (Mas)
Better? Not yet? How about I try to show you what I see in it.
First, the definitions. The Hebrew word for…
*potters is a technical potter’s term, used in connection with the potter at work, and means to form, fashion, to produce, create, craftsmanship, handiwork, etc.
*dwell/dwelt/lived means remain, abide, inhabit, etc.
*Netaim means a place in Palestine, among plants
*Gederah means a place in Palestine, wall, hedges
*work also means business, employment, deputyship, workmanship, service, use, and ministry.
Dwelling with the king meant in his kingdom.
So, where are you dwelling right now? Where in His kingdom has the King placed you to carry out His work?
You may, at the moment, feel hemmed in, surrounded by walls of hedges. Maybe even thorny ones. Maybe you see them as a hindrance. And maybe they are. Or maybe they are there to protect you. Maybe to discipline you. Maybe for you to learn a lesson. Or maybe to separate you from something until you gather up strength.
But wherever He has placed you, He is there…dwelling with you.
Whatever the reason for the hedges in your life, or mine, they are of the King’s permissive will, sifted through His mighty fingers. Fit for you…and fit for me. Otherwise, He would remove them.
And the pottery? That is the King’s work that He has willed for us to do. The labor of your hands…and my hands. In His kingdom.
Through his letter to the Colossians, Paul tells us to “Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (Col. 3:23 NLT)
Within the hedges of whatever situation you are dwelling right now, that is the divine place of the King’s work for you. That is your service, your ministry.
Remember, it is a privilege to serve Him. So, “Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, you must do all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31 NLT)
What pottery-work has the Lord placed in your hands to accomplish for Him?
Where is your there? Is it behind the hedges, dwelling with the King?
There they dwell with the King for His work.
There. With the King.