The Journey Brought Forth "Nehemiah"
This blog series is focused on God’s word bringing people through their journeys in His intentional way that He has set in front of them thereby bringing them through to His completion.
Exodus chapter twenty through Matthew chapter four is the section of scripture that most Christians find themselves living in its revolving pattern of realization, but once they receive its revelation, the Third Stage of Life is what their lives are built upon instead of attempting to achieve.
The book of Nehemiah starts by telling us that Nehemiah inquired of a couple of men about the Israelites who had escaped from bondage and the condition of Jerusalem. They told him the people were in great reproach, the walls of the city were broken down, and the gates were burned. Nehemiah’s response was to weep, mourn, and fast; then, he prayed to God and admitted all of Israel’s sin, reminded God of what He had told them, then made a request of God to honor His word. (This approach still works today. We are to make an assessment of the situation (ask God what it is), if we are out of His way we must repent to Him, find His promises and remind Him what He told us for our remembrance; because He never forgets, then ask Him to honor His promise; because He wants to do what He promised, or He would not have promised it.)
Six months later Nehemiah was in the king’s palace, and the king noticed he was sad. The king asked him what was wrong, and he replied with honoring the king first then telling him it was due to the condition of Jerusalem. The king asked him what he desired, and Nehemiah responded by praying to God and asking the king to allow him to go and rebuild the city, write a letter of permission, and supply the materials to do it. The king granted the request, and Nehemiah gave God credit for having the king to be agreeable. This all transpired about one hundred fifty-three years after the Jewish captivity. (God’s immense love and timing to propel His people along their paths are somewhat hidden from them until it is exposed to them and shown to those who can see.)
When Nehemiah went to Jerusalem, it made the rulers there angry that he went to check on its condition. After he was there three days, Nehemiah arose at night with some of the people who were with him and assessed the condition of the walls. He told them that God had sent him to make the repairs and the king had granted permission. Once they started rebuilding the walls, they were met with verbal opposition from the worldly rulers, but Nehemiah told them God was backing him and they had no portion in Jerusalem. (God sends His people to achieve certain tasks, and they prosper as He backs them in His purpose for their lives even though worldly people will not understand and might be opposed to them.)
The wall was divided into sections, and the leaders of each section were listed; then the worldly ruler of Jerusalem was even angrier than when Nehemiah first came to Jerusalem, and he and his people mocked the Jews for their efforts, but when they saw the progress that the Jews were making, they came against them to battle in an even angrier disposition, but the Jews continued on their mission prepared for battle having a horn to call if needed to gather their members to a section for war and building the wall simultaneously not even taking their clothes off except to bathe. (God’s people and required to live their lives focused on the task at hand even though the enemy is attempting to distract them and destroy their efforts, and as they are living this way they need to be connected to God’s people for supporting and encouraging each other.)
The financial oppressed of the land came to Nehemiah and told him how their brethren kept them in bondage and charged them interest on their debts, so they could not regain their possessions including their children they had to sell into servanthood. Nehemiah called the people together and told them this was not what God had for His people to do, and they redistributed the possessions to its rightful owners and made Nehemiah the governor of the land. (God’s people should be focused on the furtherment of His kingdom and the well-being of all of its members instead of their own; then, the whole-body flourishes together function as the unit it is.)
The Jew’s enemy tried to get Nehemiah to come out of the city and speak with him, but Nehemiah knew it was an attempt to assault him; so he did not go; then the enemy wrote a letter that he was going to send to king of Persia telling him the Jews planned to rebel and that is the purpose of their building the wall. That did not deter the building then there was a man who tried to get Nehemiah to hide in the house of the Lord from his enemy, but Nehemiah knew this was a trap also; because God’s people do not flee and hide from their enemies allowing them to stop their progress through their journeys. (The enemy will come in various forms of distraction, but God’s people must remain focused on God’s purpose for their lives.)
The wall of Jerusalem was built in fifty-two days bringing God glory and instilling fear into the people in the surrounding lands; then they took a census of the lineages that were represented and collected resources to sustain the work of the house of the Lord. (God works through His diligent people to increase their efforts beyond their abilities, and the house of the Lord must be given the resources it requires to help the nation exist in the state it has been granted.)
Ezra, the priest, read the book of the Law to all the people of Jerusalem as all the people stood up and listened intently and began to weep, but the teachers instructed them not to weep but to rejoice and celebrate the joy of the Lord being their strength; so, they came out of their houses and observed the Feast of Tabernacles reading the Law of God every day and observing all they were instructed. (God wants His people to come out and be separated from their earthly comforts to experience the freedom that He has given them.)
The Levites gathered the people and praised God for Abraham being separated and promised the Promised Land, the mighty works that were shown during the Exodus, the rebellion of their forefathers, God’s mercy, and patience, the conquest of the Promised Land, the rebellion and humbling again and again, and finally they were in great distress because of the actions and they made a covenant with God and wrote their names in it swearing they and their families would keep His law. (Remembering times past, God’s promises to His people, and their rebellious ways that destroyed them, often lead them to a place of repentance and rededication of their lives into God’s purpose.)
Ten percent of the inhabitants were either drafted or volunteered to stay in Jerusalem, and the volunteers were appreciated for placing themselves there. The leaders and the lands that were inhabited were listed, the Levites and priests were listed, and the tithe and first fruit offerings were reinstated. (Honoring God with one’s life and joyfully giving to Him is what His rededicated people do.)
The Jews separated themselves from the people God told them to be separated from including their foreign wives; they cleansed the blasphemous idols from the temple, they kept the Sabbath and forced the foreigners not to tempt the people to pervert the Sabbath. (God demands His people to live cleansed and separated lives from the world and the worldly focusing in Him and giving what is due unto Him never being distracted from Him by the world.)
The book of Nehemiah shows God’s people that He is in control and elevates their efforts when they are focused on accomplishing His purpose for their lives as He has them systematically organized into the place they fit. This fitting place is not always easy on their humanity; because it divides them from their families who are not His children and is insistent in them following God’s way of life instead of them attempting to lead God into their own way.