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GOOD MORNING SIBLINGS!
Today we finish up Nehemiah by reading Chapters 12-13.
Today’s reading begins with joy as Israel has abandoned the ways of the world and returned to keeping covenant with YHWH!
Nehemiah 13:1-3 At the first part of chapter 13, we see the people reading a scroll from the book of Moses that instructs them on separation from the Ammonites and Moabites. It is interesting to note that they were likely reading Deuteronomy 23:3-5.
However, It is important to point out, again, that there has always been a path by which foreigners may join themselves to Israel and be counted among YHWH’s chosen people. Recall that Ruth was a Moabite. What did she do? She declared her God to be YHWH and joined herself to His people. From that point on, in YHWH’s eyes, she was a Hebrew.
Likewise, we are no longer foreigners when we join ourselves to Him.
However, everything goes south real fast and we are told that this was during a time in which Nehemiah had returned to his former position with the King in verse Nehemiah 13:6.
People were living in the temple, keeping the portions meant for the Levites, and profaning Sabbath. A lot is focused on this one issue – but it is one that the Father has been clear on over and over so it is easy to understand the frustration and anger of Nehemiah. The irony is not lost that this is the one commandment that begins with the word “Remember” and here they have forgotten it. Something to turn over in our minds today.
In the midst of admonishing other sins, Nehemiah gives a well spoken example of WHY the Israelites were not to join themselves with foreign women in 13: 23-27.
And throughout all of this, He is tireless in his continued reproach and correction of the people, not giving thought to whether or not he would win any popularity contests in the process. His only desire was to please the Father and lead Israel to do the same.
Having been a leader of the movement to return to obedience along with Ezra, when Nehemiah left, everything began to unravel.
Never underestimate the influence of strong, moral, leadership when they fear and honor YHWH.
In Nehemiah’s actions and legacy we see that he followed the Father without compromise, seeking His will above all and accepting nothing less.
As we complete Nehemiah, let us look upon his example and apply it to our lives as the Father leads.
We just finished Nehemiah – Rak Chazak!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!