Tag: keeping the Sabbath holy
Scripture reading for May 13th: Nehemiah 11-13
Would you like to be remembered by God for the good works you accomplish? It would be a great honor to have God’s smiling approval recorded for all to read and know. Some in Scripture have had this honor and Nehemiah is one of them. Others have had a record of their accomplishments but God called them “evil” and wrote them down as a bad examples! Let’s look at Nehemiah’s last four prayers of petition to the Lord, see his heart, and learn why God answered his prayers with favor!
“Remember me for this, O my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services.” Nehemiah 13:14
Nehemiah is asking to be remembered for cleansing the temple of Tobiah the Ammonite, who Eliashib the priest had given a room in the temple. Nehemiah threw out all his things and cleansed the room. (Nehemiah 13:1-2,7-9) Nehemiah also found out that the Levites had not received their portion of the tithes and therefore had to return to work, neglecting the work in the temple. He rebuked the officials who had allowed this and ordered the Levites back to work in the temple. He reminded the people to bring their tithes into the storehouse and replenish the storerooms that had been neglected. Nehemiah did this because he loved the Lord’s house and knew the people needed the services of the priesthood. He knew that they needed to bring their tithes into the temple for their own worship and good! Faithfulness to God’s house is always remembered and rewarded!
“Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember me for this also, O my God, and show mercy to me according to your great love.” Nehemiah 13:22
Nehemiah next rebuked the people for doing business on the Sabbath, closed the gates, and warned those bringing goods to remove them on the Sabbath. (Nehemiah 13:12-18) He was concerned that God’s wrath would come upon the people for their disrespect of God’s commandment. He was looking out for their welfare. This probably was not popular but was necessary and God remembered him for it!
“Remember them, O my God, because they defiled the priestly office and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites.” Nehemiah 13:29 “Remember me with favor, O my God.” Nehemiah 13:30b
The last recorded deed of Nehemiah was his dealing with mixed marriages in Judah and the priesthood. This greatly disturbed this man of prayer and he rebuked the offenders strongly, even beating and pulling out the hair of some of them! (Nehemiah 13:25) He made them swear not to give their daughters or allow their sons to marry outside the nation of faith. He reminded them of Solomon’s sin in this area. He was a bad example even though he was loved by God and made king! Sin requires decisive action or it corrupts and defiles and brings God’s wrath. Wise leaders take action! In doing so, they are “remembered with favor” by the Lord! Would that be your prayer today?