Jerusalem had been rebuilt and it now had to be repopulated.
👉 Who was to live in Jerusalem?
• leaders of the people (v 11:1)
• those chosen by lot (v 11:1)
• those who volunteered (v 11:2)
👉 Names, many, many names (v 11:3-12:26)
Again, the names matter. Much like those who had chosen to return from Babylon – these individuals were leaving the comforts and ease of established towns to begin all over again in Jerusalem.
👉 Dedication and Worship Service (v 12:27-47)
So much joy – “The joy of Jerusalem was heard far away” (v 12:43). ♥️
At some point, Nehemiah returns to his position at the palace. Then, he makes a return trip to Jerusalem to check on things.
👉 What did Nehemiah find?
• Tobiah, an Ammonite and the enemy of the work all along, occupying space in the temple (v 13:4-5)
• the temple workers not being provided for and having to leave their temple service to work in the fields (v 13:10)
• the sabbath not being honored (v 15-16)
• the people intermarrying with the people of the land (v 23)
Bad, bad, bad. All bad.
👉 How did Nehemiah respond?
Among the many, many admirable characteristics we have previously mentioned – Nehemiah knew how to and was willing to take care of business, people.
• threw Tobiah and his belongings out of the temple (v 13:8)
• put the temple back in order (v 13:9)
• confronted the leaders and appointed reliable men to handle the distribution of resources (v 13:11-13)
• threatened to put his hands on those who dishonored the sabbath (v 13:21) [Seriously, how do you not love this? “If you are here when I come back, I will lay hands on you.”]
• confronted those who had intermarried – cursed them, beat some of them, and pulled out their hair (v 13:25)
All I know is that I used to want to hang out with Paul in heaven – but I think Nehemiah is more my people.
👉 Nehemiah’s Prayers
[Spoiler alert: He’s not sorry for any of it.]
• remember me and my good deeds (v 13:14)
• remember this in my favor (v 13:22)
• remember me for my good (v 13:31)
Oh, to have the holy backbone that Nehemiah had.
You are loved.