Reforms of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 13)

At the reading of the Book of Moses, it was noted that no Ammonite or Moabite should come  into the assembly of God.  They had refused to assist Israel on their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land.  They also hired Balaam to curse Israel, but God turned it into a blessing.  After the reading, they separated the mixed multitude from Israel.

Eliashib the priest had authority over the storerooms of the house of God.  He made an alliance with Tobiah.  He had prepared him a large room, which had formerly been used for grain offerings, frankincense, articles, tithes of grain, new wine, and oil.  These items were to be given to the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers, and offerings for priests.  Nehemiah had been away in Babylon at the request of Artaxerxes the king.  He obtained leave from the king and came to Jerusalem and discovered the evil done by Eliashib.  It grieved Nehemiah, so he threw out all of Tobiah’s goods and ordered them to cleanse the room.  He also brought back the items that were removed.

Nehemiah restored the Levites’ portions, and then asked the leaders why the house of God had been forsaken.  He restored the tithing practice, and appointed treasurers over the storehouses.  He noticed people treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, loading donkeys, etc.  Nehemiah rebuked the transgressors and then ordered that the gates not be opened on the Sabbath.  When vendors slept outside the gates the night before the Sabbath, he chased them away.  He called the Levites to cleanse themselves and guard the gates.

Nehemiah also condemned the people for intermarrying with pagans and commanded them to cease.  When he crossed paths with Joiada, the son-in-law of Saballat, he drove him out.  He cleansed Judah of everything pagan, and restored the proper actions of the priests and Levites.  He asked God to remember him for his work.

Nehemiah was the guardian of the city of God, and drove out all the evil people and evil items from Judah.  Whereas the people of Judah compromised and made alliances with pagan gods and nations, Nehemiah drove out the evil force in Judah.  It is interesting to note how the storehouse which was reserved for the grain offerings, frankincense, new win, and oil were kept was now being offered to a pagan ruler who had no regard for the Lord at all.  When we allow the enemy to set up house in the place reserved for the Lord, we lose our provision and protection.  Keep your storehouse reserved for the things of God, and keep Tobiah out of the house of the Lord!

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