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Nehemiah 11-13


A Devotional Journey  
  led by Dr Gene Pearson
    Thru the Bible in a Year
         It appears that the population of Jerusalem was not large enough to support the Temple and the city itself, so Nehemiah holds a lottery among the people to see who will move from the place of their historical family roots to the City of David.  One in ten were required to make the move.  In addition to the ones chosen by lot, others volunteered to move.
          The census of Jerusalem’s residents included about half the names on the list of returning exiles in 1 Chronicles 9:2-21.  
          When Jerusalem’s walls are dedicated, Ezra the scribe leads one group counterclockwise around the wall and Nehemiah leads another group in a clockwise direction.  They met between the Water Gate and the Gate of the Guard after which they entered the temple area where each of the two choirs participating in the processions sang praise to God.  The sound of their rejoicing could be heard far away.
          During Nehemiah’s required return to Babylon, the temple is defiled by Tobiah, his enemy, and when he discovers what has happened, Nehemiah forcibly throws Tobiah out of the temple compound.  In addition, it is learned that the Levites have neither been given their appropriate support for serving in the temple, nor have they been faithful in the fulfillment of the responsibilities.  Besides all this, Nehemiah reestablishes an emphasis on the Sabbath, and restraints on marriage between Jews and non-Jews.  Throughout the narrative, Nehemiah seems particularly concerned that God may remember him for what he has done.
         Do you know your family heritage?  More significantly, if your children knew only the details of your life, would you be giving them the kind of heritage upon which they could build a strong and healthy life?
          What about the details of God’s standards for living?  Do you keep the Lord’s Day (in our case as Christians, Sunday) special for God?  Do you get involved in business and/or recreation in ways that work against your relationship with God and His worship?   Do you believe that Christians should only marry Christians?  If two are to become one, how can this occur if their centers of reality do not match? 
          Today, reflect on the fact that you need do nothing more than accept what Christ has already done to be remembered and accepted by God.  Once we have become followers of Jesus and put our trust in Him alone for our salvation, we have only one major problem left:  not impressing God, or proving ourselves; but finding some way(s) to thank God for all He has given us in Christ.  Think of something you could do today to express thanks to God.         
© A. Eugene Pearson 1999