Tuesday, March 3, 2009

remember me with favor, o my God

Nehemiah 11 - 13

The final chapters of the book of Nehemiah stand in contrast to each other. Chapters 11 & 12 describe those who came back to Jerusalem to live after the walls had been rebuilt. And the celebration and ceremony of the dedication of the walls. The Bible describes a very cool scene in chapter 12 when Nehemiah and the priests walk on top of the walls and dedicate this work and this wall to God. The ceremony included choirs and singing and the sound of rejoicing could be heard far away. The dedication ended at temple where tithes & offerings were brought into the storerooms

Chapter 13 is a different story. Nehemiah, true to his word goes back to work for King Artaxerxes and serves him for many years. After some time Nehemiah asks the King for permission to go back to Jerusalem. There he finds that the people had fallen away again. They had not followed the Law. They had defiled the temple. They had forgotten the Sabbath. They were living in the same way as before which lead to the destruction of the walls and the capture of the city in the first place. Nehemiah does not walk away, he begins to reign judgment on the people. At the end of this chapter, the end of these writings of Nehemiah he writes this one simple statement. "Remember me with favor, O my God."

May we live like Nehemiah, holding unswervingly to God's Word & God's will. May we be willing to speak boldly about the things that are wrong in our culture, and in our communities. And may we be like God's servant Nehemiah who relentlessly pursued what God would want for His people. And may we be remembered with favor, O God.

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