TODAY’S READING: NEHEMIAH 10-13
OVERVIEW: The list of leaders who placed their seal on the covenant with God; the city of Jerusalem is populated with by the Jews; the dedication of the city wall; Nehemiah condemns the people’s wicked ways and reforms the abuses.
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
After making a “sure” covenant with God in chapter 9 to do all things according to His Word, the leaders sealed it. Chapter 10 lists for us the names that entered into this covenant with God that day by sealing it themselves. Little did they realize that their names would be recorded eternally in God’s Word for us all! In verses 28-39, we see the people actually applying the Word to their everyday lives. It is one thing to pray and sign a covenant; it is another thing to separate from evil, straighten out our homes (vs. 28-30), honor the Sabbath (vs. 31), contribute to the house of God (vs. 32-33), and serve God with tithes and offerings (vs. 34-39). Too many “Bible conferences” end with people stirred and feeling all blessed inside, but never actually obeying what God supposedly taught them! How are you doing with the truth God taught you at our recent Bible conference?
In chapters 11 and 12, the city of Jerusalem is populated and the wall of Jerusalem is dedicated. It was necessary to get the Jews to live in the city, both for the good of the city and the glory of God. This, of course, demanded faith because you had to leave your home for a different place. In order to accomplish this, the leaders cast lots and moved 10% into the city. Nehemiah 11:2 indicates that there were some volunteers. The numbers in Nehemiah 11:3-19 total just 3044 men. If this represents 10% of the male Jewish population that had returned from exile to the Promised Land, then we can see how small the remnant in the land actually was. This illustrates for us the truth found in Matthew 7:14...”Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it.”
>From Nehemiah 13:6 and 7:2 we learn that Nehemiah had returned to Babylon for a few years, leaving the governing of the city in the hands of his brother. When he returned, he discovered that the people had fallen back into their old ways. Nehemiah 13:1-3 tell us of the cleansing that took place the very day of the dedication, when they had separated the heathen wives in the families (see Deut. 23:3-5). Sin has a way of repeating itself! When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem, he found that the Jewish men had repeated this very sin (vs. 23-31). In fact, even the priests had sinned in this way! It was necessary for this courageous saint and leader to face sin honestly and judge it! And that is exactly what he did. How are you doing judging the sin in your life? Are you a good enough friend to those you love that you confront them with the sin in their lives?
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
As the WALL OF JERUSALEM – Nehemiah 12:27. God is our fortress in whom we trust (Psalm 91:2).