Nehemiah 13: Address the Problem and Move Forward
Well, we have come to the end of Nehemiah, and in chapter 13, it seems as if Nehemiah himself had to take a trip back to Babylon to most likely report to the king. Unfortunately, while he was gone, the people got into some bad stuff.
Neh 13:4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:
Neh 13:5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.
Basically, a guy who was supposed to be a priest turned a room in the temple that was meant for the worship of God into a room that was used for a feast. Beyond that, we find that a little bit later that the food that is mentioned here and was meant for the Levites never made it to the Levites.
Neh 13:10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.
Not only did he defile a room in the Temple, but he also broke the rules in regards to how the food was supposed to be used. The food was supposed to be for the people who had the duty of serving God in the Temple, but in this case, the system was being abused.
Nehemiah was not thrilled with this to say the least.
Neh 13:11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.
He disciplined the rulers, and then he made the situation better by bringing all the Levites back to the Temple like they should have been. He didn’t let the people off the hook for disobeying the law of God, but he also took productive steps to ultimately improve the situation.
This is what we need to do today. We live in a world that disobeys the word of God all the time (and I know that we are all guilty of doing that every now and then). We can’t just ignore the problem. We need forgiveness. However, we also need to take steps in a positive direction to continue growing nearer to God.
1Jn 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1Jn 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1Jn 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
It is a two-part process. We might sin, and while that is not acceptable, Jesus died to bring us forgiveness. Then, we need to keep His commandments and continue growing closer. This will lead us toward spiritual maturity.