Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Restoration continues

[23] In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab: [24] And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people. [25] And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. [26] Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin. [27] Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives? [28] And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me. [29] Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites. [30] Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business; [31] And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good. Nehemiah 13:23-31

The book of Nehemiah ends. We can see the progression of sin, repentance, obedience, restoration and then the  cycle starts again.

Wow, is this just in Nehemiah’s time. I dare say no. The Christian life is like any other life. We make mistakes, we learn from our mistakes, we make more mistakes, we learn from those. Life is a circle. Hopefully we learn and grow and do not make the same mistakes again, but sometimes we do. We are imperfect people but we have a perfect Savior. He is always waiting to teach us His way.

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Proverbs 24:16 

We may not have the same problems as the people in Nehemiah’s time, but we still have problems.

In this portion Nehemiah is saying, what you are doing is the same thing that King Solomon did. Do you not remember that he was drawn away from God because of sin?

For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. 1Kings 11:4 

I think of all the things/events/people/places that can draw me away from God. I have to make a conscience decision to stay away from those things. It is not easy to do right.

·        The first step is to know yourself and know your weaknesses. Stay away from those temptations.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1Corinthians 10:13 

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12 

·        Learn from the mistakes of others. There are many examples in the Bible as well in history and even in our own circle of family and friends.

·        Ask the Lord to restore you. No matter what one has done He is waiting with outstretched arms to receive us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9 

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Psalm 51:12 

·        We can break the cycle of sin if we are willing to wholly follow Him.

But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 1 Timothy 6:11 

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 1Peter  2:21 

Please join me on my next post. I will sum up what I learned about Nehemiah.

Have a blessed day,

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