WHEN THE CAT'S AWAY...
This is the concluding chapter in our series of studies around
the book of Nehemiah. If Nehemiah had been looking for a good place to
end his book chapter 13 would be certainly have been it. The wall has
been renovated and dedicated. God's people have been revived and
consecrated. The 12th chapter closes with the choirs on the walls of
Jerusalem and they are singing and praising with such excitement and
victory that the Bible says you could hear the sound afar off. It would
have been very good if Nehemiah could have right there written at the
conclusion of chapter 12 - "and they lived happily ever after." Instead
we find Nehemiah 13 and the book ends on a rather jarring and discordant
note. The chapter is filled with numerous difficulties; it is filled
with unpleasant confrontations.
This is one of the reasons I know that the Bible is the inspired
Word of God. If the Bible was just put together by men, the tendency of
men is to obscure that which is unpleasant and to hide that which is
wrong. The Bible always tells it just exactly like it was and it always
tells it just like it is. The Bible paints the picture warts and all.
It shows us exactly what occurred.
Nehemiah had been gone for a period of time. We learn this in
the 6th verse of chapter 13. Nehemiah says in that verse "and all this
time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of
AftaD- king of Babylon- caie I Unto the king, and after certan - days
obtained I leave of the king:"
This was in keeping with the commitment he had made in chapter 2
when the king gave him permission to go in the first place. The
question was asked - when will you be returning? Nehemiah set a period
of time, his work had been completed, he went back as the king had asked
him to do. He was fulfilling that commitment.
Now, in verse 7 he says - "And I came to Jerusalem." I can
almost imagine the shock that must have gripped Nehemia ...
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