Remember Me Part 2
By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte
Nehemiah 13 15-31 (NASB)
Due to the length of the passage, we have included the link for you to read on your own. Click here to read the passage.
Today we wrap up the book of Nehemiah.
The final verses of the last chapter are Nehemiah’s lament to God. After Jerusalem’s walls and city had been repaired, Nehemiah returned to his work with the King. Twelve years later, he returned to check on things, only to find a mess. The story continues with people not keeping the Sabbath. Nehemiah speaks of them making the day profane by doing business on the Sabbath.
Nehemiah put a hard stop of trade on the Sabbath by locking the merchants out on the Holy Day until they learned that he (Nehemiah) would not compromise with God’s Commandment.
Next, Nehemiah discovered people had intermarried with the people from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab, all very idolatrous nations. He also discovered that many of these families had not even taught their children the Hebrew language.
In today’s society, we may consider what Nehemiah did by splitting up marriages and families and throwing foreigners out of the city. I know for certain that God does not show partiality toward anyone.
34 Opening his mouth, Peter said:“I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, 35 but in every nation the one who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him.)
What, then is going on in this passage?
It’s not that God hated certain people and loved others, but God, who looks at the heart of every individual, recognized that the people of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab were not coming out of their culture to worship Him, the one true living God. Rather, the Israelite people were un-equally yoked spiritually while the people from foreign lands brought idol worship into Jerusalem, which caused God’s people to turn away from Him, their first love.
Finally, at the end of the book, Nehemiah set systems back into place for sacrifice and corporate worship and once again asked God to remember him for the work of his hand.
Nehemiah did so much for the people of Israel, but the Israelite people suffered and slid back into old, destructive patterns when they were left without a strong leader. Aren’t we all the same? Our lasting legacy truly is those we leave behind to follow in our footsteps. We need to seek out people who will have the same zeal for God, and who will carry on what previous generations have left in place. As Rev. Miles Toulmis once said, “The Church is always one generation away from extinction.”
Psalm 1:1-2 (NASB)
1 Blessed is the person who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2 But his delight is in the Law of the Lord,
And on His Law he meditates day and night.
What can we learn from Nehemiah?
· Be an influence on the culture, do not let culture influence us.
· Do not compromise with sin. Cast out anything that will pull us away from our first love.
· Raise our children in the way they should go.
· Do what we can to be a good example to others.
· Lift others up, don’t let them bring us down.
Jude 1:3 (NASB)
Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all time handed down to the saints.
What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?
- What do I need to stand my ground on and who can keep me accountable?
- Who is the next generation that I might be able to mentor? Is there someone in particular that you are thinking of that needs a mentor?
- What can I do to contend for the faith?
- In what way do I need to re-establish a right relationship with God?
- What kind of legacy am I leaving for the next generation?
Dear fellow Bible Study readers and participants, thank you everyone for studying with me through the book of Nehemiah. I hope you have found it as insightful as I have.
I hope you will join me next week when we move to the New Testament book of 1st Peter!