Friday, April 27, 2012

Restoring order

[9] Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense. [10] And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field. [11] Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place. [12] Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries. [13] And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah: for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren. [14] Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof.  Nehemiah 13:9-14

This last chapter in Nehemiah is all about restoration. In this portion, the chambers, it appears that Tobiah had more than one to live in, are cleansed and restored to the original use. The vessels and offerings were placed back in the chamber.

Nehemiah continues his investigation and finds that the Levites had not been paid and went “back to the field” to earn their living. He gathers the rulers to ask “why God’s house is forsaken”, bringing back the words they said to him when the covenant was made (Nehemiah 10:39).

Gathering the Levites, Nehemiah brings them back to the temple to perform their duties. Ever the organizer Nehemiah appoints treasurers to oversee and distribute the tithes brought into the treasury.

Through all this Nehemiah does not lose sight of why he is doing this. He prays and calls out to God. Commentaries call these prayers, ejaculatory prayers. In this brief but powerful prayer, Nehemiah asks God to remember him and not wipe out his good deeds for the temple.

God is with us, just as He was with Nehemiah. Our prayers do not need to be elaborate, but sincere from the heart.

Three things I learned from this portion of scripture:

Let God lead:
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Psalm 37:23  

Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. Psalm 119:133 

Be organized:
Let all things be done decently and in order. 1Corinthians 14:40 

Be prayerful:
Pray without ceasing. 1Thessalonians 5:17  

Have a blessed day, 

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