Today you should read: Nehemiah 13
Our journey through Nehemiah ends with chapter 13. I learned from this chapter that Nehemiah is a great house cleaner!
Twelve years had passed since the wall was rebuilt in Jerusalem. Nehemiah’s story began in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxses, and Nehemiah 13:6 says it’s now the thirty-second year. Nehemiah had been back working for the king for the past twelve years, so he wasn’t in Jerusalem to keep an eye on how things were going. Well, let’s just say “holiness” wouldn’t be the descriptive characteristic of the Jews during those 12 years. Some house cleaning needed to be done.
In verses 1-3, Nehemiah refers to a time 12 years prior when they had read in the law that no Ammonite or Moabite should enter the Assembly of God. They excluded all the foreigners from Israel. Why? Ultimately, it was because the foreigners worshiped other gods and believed something different, and to intermarry with them or entertain their potential influence would be to defile the true faith of God’s chosen people. Twelve years after reading this law, the Jews had fallen short. Verses 23-28 indicate that they married foreigners. Nehemiah proceeded to “clean house” via some strong rebukes.
The Israelites were to exclude foreigners who didn’t believe in and worship God. That sounds kind of harsh and intolerant, but there is a very important principal for us to learn from this idea. Foreigners will be excluded from God’s kingdom. By “foreigners,” I mean those who do not believe in and worship the one true God will be excluded from His people. Better said, they will not be included amongst His people. It’s not intolerant to say that; it’s true. Read the words of John 3:16 and John 14:6. Only those who surrender to the lordship of Jesus and receive His forgiveness will avoid exclusion from His people.
Verses 4-9 refer to some other sinful activity. The priest went and made a bedroom for one of his relatives out of a room that was supposed to be used to store grain offerings, tithes, and other contributions. That wasn’t good. Again, Nehemiah cleaned house, both literally and figuratively.
In verses 10-14, it was found out that the Levites and singers were out working in their fields to survive because they hadn’t been given the portion of the tithes that were due to them. Nehemiah cleaned house again.
In verses 15-22, the Jews were profaning the Sabbath. They worked and sold and bought merchandise instead of observing the Sabbath. Again, Nehemiah cleaned house.
I wonder what rooms in my house need to be cleaned and rid of unholiness and ungodly behavior. I will ask the Spirit to reveal any areas of my life that aren’t in line with God’s desires. Then, I’ll praise and thank Jesus for the forgiveness He’s given me in order to make me clean and allow me to be one of His children.
Posted by: Rich Duffield
One thought on “May 27, 2013”
Yes, I fall short but for the grace of God he continually shows me this. I am thankful for this. PRAISE HIM.