The following is not a sound approach to biblical interpretation, but was a “reading” that revealed a powerful reminder. I like to confuse people by telling them that Nehemiah 10:12 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. I see confusion on their faces as they look back at me and typically ask, “Are you sure?”
Nehemiah 10:12 simply lists three names: Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah. The verse is in the list of leaders agreed with Nehemiah to follow God’s law. But that is beside my point.
As I read the list of names one night, I wondered, more or less asking God halfheartedly, “What’s of these names here? Why am I reading them?” There was instantly a response in my mind, “Look them up.”
Zaccur means mindful or remember.
Sherebiah means Jehovah has scorched.
Shebaniah means Jehovah has increased.
Remember, God scorches, God increases. I was somewhat taken aback that there seemed to be a statement here . . . God is like the refiner’s fire (Malachi 3:2). Remember the refiner’s fire.
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2–4
The refining fire of God’s discipline, which we would all just as soon avoid, is for our cleansing, purification, and our perfection. The refiner makes the gold pure . . . it is not destroyed, like the burning bush (Exodus 3:2) was not consumed.
My other efforts to find hidden treasures in the Scripture this way have failed. But I can trust in the Lord that the Bible often speaks to my heart in far more ways than I might know.