Bible In One Year-Day 184 (Thursday, July 3, 2014)
Commentary: Nehemiah10-13. Nehemiah’s headache was that his people allied with the Jew’s arch enemies; Sanballat and Tobiah. After consecrating the walls and the gates, he went back to King Artaxerxes;
Nehemiah 13:6 “But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king:”
Unfortunately, many things went wrong while he was away. Tobiah, who first confronted Nehemiah on the project, had found his way into the house of the Lord, Neh13:4-5.
Nehemiah 13:7 “And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.”
Sanballat, also had become an in-law to the high priest;
Nehemiah 13:28 “And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.”
The decay on ground really grieved Nehemiah’s heart. The priest was a major culprit in the atrocities committed by the people of Judah; unholy inter-marriages and they stopped bringing in tithes and firstfruit offerings into the house of the Lord. The Moabites and the Ammonites were allowed to bring anything into the house of the Lord. Nehemiah had to correct all the wrongs he met on ground.
When there is compromise in the house of the Lord, the enemy will eventually take over. The little time Eve gave to Satan made her household lose the glorious garden and total corruption came into their lives.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
Satan is not seeking for a big space to sit in the first place; he only needs very small space and he will tell you he is contented with that. He is not working towards instant fall of any man but a gradual one.
Song of Solomon 2:15 “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.”
Little indulgences are the problems of average Christians. We need to learn from Nehemiah. In his time, he made sure that the least gate was securely manned. He never took anything for granted. He was quick to repair misplaced things that has to do with God and correct any misappropriated things. He was swift to reformation and was a good breach repairer. Nehemiah was a leader to the core; a loyalist. He was very strict and thorough with the word of God. Once he identifies an enemy in the courtyard of God, he never gave a second thought before throwing the enemy out of the way;
Nehemiah 13:8 “And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.”
Not a remnant of Tobiah’s property was left in the house of God. This is how we should treat the enemy of God in our lives and the lives of brethren. We should not fight the people but the evil spirit that has crawled into the house of God (or the Temple of the Holy Spirit). Nehemiah refused the sellers to hang around the walls. He gave them serious warning that any violation of his instructions would warrant serious justice;
Nehemiah 13:20-21 “So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.”
This is how to treat the enemies of our souls; the satanic traders. This was the action Jesus took against the traders at the Synagogue. Unfriendly friends should go, immorality should not be condoned around us, and any seductive spirit should be dealt with decisively. Jesus warned us concerning our ministries;
Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
The situation Nehemiah met was so bad that the children were no more speaking Judean language, rather, they were communicating in the language of the strangers;
Nehemiah 13:23-24 “In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people.”
This is the vogue nowadays; the language of the world is the language in the household of God. A lot of behavioral decay is all over the places. Parents have lost control of children and teachers have become Facebook ridicule. Pastors’ children are calling the police on their parents and Bishops are being arrested most of the time. The horrible trend now is that parents are afraid of their children; the future is hunted by the spirit of self destruction.
The spirit of Nehemiah must be invoked to bring about reformation. We need to go back to our knees to pray, just as Nehemiah did.
Nehemiah 13:29-30 “Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards (duties to) of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business(services);”
Duties must be appropriately assigned without fear or favor.
Let us seek for the old path where we could find rest. Let us listen to the trumpet’s sound, wherewith we could escape the calamity to come. Our reading for today is Esther1-3. Keep the fire burning and alive.