Wow! That flew by. I pray that God revealed some awesome things to you as He did for me.
Last chapter and He is still showing some amazing stuff through Nehemiah!
One little sentence right in the beginning made me smile. When talking about how the god of the Ammonites and Moabites (Balaam) would call a curse down on the people: “(Our God, however, turned the curse into a blessing.)” (v2) I can’t even count how many times something happened that I thought was bad or just not what I wanted, and it turned out to be even better than what I even dreamed. He uses all things for His glory.
Since Nehemiah went back to his work with the king, things went pretty downhill. Tobiah (one of the enemies of the building of the wall) is now living in the House of God with Eliashib the priest. When Nehemiah came back and saw this, he immediately threw him out and “gave orders to purify the rooms, and then I put back equipment of the house of God, with the grain offering and incense.” (v9) There is no room for evil in our hearts and the presence of the Holy Spirit. “Why is the house of God neglected?” (v11) We must completely remove anything sinful that could separate us from God.
“Remember me for this, O my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services.” (v14)
Nehemiah calls out to God, not in pride, but humble cries for his faithful intentions. God does more than we are able to even ask.
The people of Jerusalem are not keeping the Sabbath holy. “What is this wicked thing you are doing – desecrating the Sabbath day?” (v17) He reminded them of the sins of their forefathers and scolds them for making the same mistake. Nehemiah is desperately trying to lead these people in the way of the Lord. “Remember me for this also, O my God, and show mercy on me according to your great love.” (v22) Although his pleas and cries are being met with frustration with how the people acting, he calls on the Lord for mercy and forgiveness.How many times have you tried to lead someone in His way, and they did not seem to care or listen? We need to keep leading by example and asking the Lord for mercy.
In verses 22-27, it talks about men from Judah being married to women of Ashod, Ammon, and Moab. This is all talking about being married to someone who isn’t “equally yoked in the Lord.” Basically, that is “Christian-ese” term meaning a Christian who is married or in a relationship with a person who is not a follower of Christ (this is a whole other blog post in itself!) Nehemiah knows the danger in this and again is angry that the people have not listened and followed the Law of Moses. He is doing everything he can to help lead these people in the ways of the Lord. He prays again “Remember them, O my God,…” (v29) Even though they have sinned, Nehemiah is praying for God to remember them and have mercy on them and pray for them to turn from their sins.When you see people that you care about doing things they shouldn’t be doing, are you saying anything? Praying for them? My prayer is that, like Nehemiah, we are doing everything we can to further the Kingdom of God and at the end of the day our prayer can be the same “Remember me with favor, O my God.” (v31)