Righting the Wrongs

Nehemiah 13:1-31

As we conclude the book of Nehemiah, today we read of efforts made to ensure that things were done aright.

Starting with the commandment seen in the book of Moses that the Ammonites and Moabites should not come into the congregation of God forever because of how they treated Israel while on their journey from Egypt, the people obeyed by separating themselves from all the mixed multitude.

Next was Nehemiah having to deal with Eliashib‘s actions. Eliashib was priest having oversight of the chamber of the house of God, but when Nehemiah was away on assignment, Eliashib prepared the chamber for Tobiah-one of Israel’s foremost enemies- to stay. This action grieved Nehemiah, and when he returned he threw out all of Tobiah’s belongings, and commanded the chambers to be cleansed.

Next agenda was to ensure on Nehemiah’s list was to ensure that the Levites portions were given them, as hitherto they have fled to the field. Nehemiah contended with the rulers to ensure that the people brought the tithes of their corn, new wine and oil into the treasuries.

Also, when Nehemiah saw that in Judah, some were treading wine presses and trading on the Sabbath, he contended with the nobles, reminding them that Israel’s previous transgressions brought about their exile. He then gave instructions to his servants to shut the gate just before Sabbath and stand to ensure no burden was brought through the gate on the Sabbath.

Finally, Nehemiah corrected those found to be marrying strangers. The children of these people could not even speak the Jewish language. Nehemiah cursed some of them, smote some of them, and made them swear that they would not give their sons or daughters in marriage to the strangers that caused even Solomon the great king to sin. He chased away the son of Joiada the priest, who doubled as son in law to Sanballat the Horonite.

So much passion, so much zeal, this parallels Jesus whipping the merchants in the temple. There indeed is what is called holy anger, which when expressed by hearts passionate for God aggressively seeks to right that which is in the wrong. If you are such passionate, then you could say with Nehemiah in conclusion that , ” remember me, O my God, for good”.

Some verses to remember

3: Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.

9: Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.

22: And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.

30: Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business.

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