Nehemiah 13: Housecleaning For Godliness
- Read Nehemiah 13 carefully, considering its five sections. Read it again carefully.
- Every male here is or will be a leader of a wife, children, grandchildren, church, etc.
- There are few leaders in the Bible like Nehemiah; we are told considerable about him.
- A leader must be vigilant about compromise in his sphere of duty and keep it clean.
CLEANING UP FRIENDS (1-3)
- Bible reading, whether public or private, is essential to us knowing God’s will.
- God had cursed these people, and though an explanation is given, it is not necessary.
- When the regathered Jews heard this warning, they got rid of all their worldly friends.
- For there to be worldly friends to get rid of … they must have had them. Shame!
- Nehemiah 8 describes a wonderful preaching service with similar results (8:13-18).
Application #1: When you hear something from God’s word, do you do it with zeal?
Application #2: Do you, your wife, or children have friends from the mixed multitude?
Application #3: Do you grasp David’s seriousness about this matter in his life (Ps 101)?
Application #4: Remember the subtle danger of unlike friends (I Cor 15:33; Pr 13:20).
CLEANING UP THE CHURCH (4-9)
- Eliashib had befriended and accommodated Tobiah, a cursed Ammonite (2:10).
- This enemy of God had altered God’s temple to make room for his pagan friend.
- How did this occur? While Nehemiah was gone on business to report to Artaxerxes.
- This matter grieved Nehemiah sore, meaning in the vernacular that he was very upset.
- But he did not stop with being grieved – he did something – he threw the stuff out!
- He did not stop with just getting rid of the problem – he replaced it with God’s stuff.
Application #1: Error can happen by those that should know better. Hate it anyway!
Application #2: We as a church must avoid evil alliances, and so must you individually.
Application #3: When gone or distracted with other duties, the mice must be checked!
Application #4: Do you get sorely grieved, do you sigh, for the errors of men (Ezek 9:4)?
Application #5: What do you need to throw out of your home? What should replace it?
Application #6: Do you know why I had to preach sermons against Reformed Baptists?
GIVING & SUPPORTING THE MINISTRY (10-14)
- Nehemiah considered (and perceived) about the financial situation of the church.
- He rebuked the rulers and put the Levites and singers back in their appointed places.
- He ordained faithful men to take charge of the financial duties. Are you such a man?
- Nehemiah served God with zeal; due to it, he asked to be remembered (Ps 18:20-24).
Application #1: Consider the church, ministry, and poor financially (Ps 41:1; Pr 28:27).
Application #2: Are you aware and insightful enough to recognize discrepancies?
Application #3: God convicted your pastor of Isaiah 32:8 – do you share his conviction?
Application #4: You will need God’s help, not if, but when; will He recall you? for what?
REMEMBERING THE SABBATH (15-22)
- Nehemiah was always looking, and he was not fooled or swayed by public practice.
- When he saw something wrong, he testified against it; he did not choose to be silent.
- He did not pick on the poor traders doing business, but the nobles leading the city.
- He brought to bear the history of God’s people, which is our teacher (I Cor 10:6-11).
- He took practical measures to stop the evil and to keep it from happening again.
- He paid a price by assigning his own men to watch the gates until a new policy.
- When some took steps to avoid his rules, he threatened them with violence. Glory!
- Again, we have the inspired prayer of a righteous man for God to see and remember.
Application #1: It is your duty, as mine, to exhort and warn (I Thes 5:14; Heb 10:24-25).
Application #2: When you see something wrong, if it is not a liberty, testify against it.
Application #3: Do you know the Bible so you can raise examples of sin from its history?
Application #4: When you make a change in policy, are you wise enough to find sneaks?
Application #5: Are you wise as a serpent to devise practical blocks to sin in your family?
Application #6: Are you man enough to threaten violence (and follow thru) against sin?
AFFINITY WITH THE WORLD (23-31)
- Nehemiah always inspected the activities and situation around him and saw affinity.
- He did not care that children were involved – he was not effeminately sentimental.
- Consider his violence against this horrible sin, just as God has been with the Flood.
- Again he brought to bear the Biblical history of Solomon’s great error in this matter.
- He was not open to listening to their excuses, justification, or reasons for such sinning.
- The high priest’s grandson had married Sanballat’s daughter. Josephus – Mt. Gerizim?
- Nehemiah ignored the status of both parties to this abominable marriage (II Chr 18:1).
- This great man shows the right use of imprecatory prayer against the enemies of God.
- For the third time in this chapter, Nehemiah asked God to remember him for good.
Application #1: Be vigilant. Look critically around you. Especially at all relationships.
Application #2: Marriage in the Lord is incredibly important, and you must enforce it.
Application #3: You may have to take strong measures to marry your children in Christ.
Application #4: Reject what your child might say. Solomon probably had his reasons!
Application #5: No matter the reputation or status of either party – hate all such affinity.
Application #6: Marriage starts with dating, dating with friends, friends with contacts.
Application #7: You remember what happened to Dinah due to lazy father and brothers.
- Here is the inspired record of a great leader, and you should want to be just like him.
- God has made you leaders of wives, children, grandchildren, church, neighbors, etc.
- You are responsible to look, inspect, draw conclusions, and correct whatever is wrong.
- Revival and worship pleasing to God often require housecleaning to get rid of junk.
- When the junk has been thrown out, then replace it with godly inputs for family profit.
- May God bless the vigilant, faithful, and zealous ones in the day of their calamity.