Remember Me!

“Remember me, O my God, for good.”

Nehemiah 13:31

How do you think life will look twelve years from now? Will we be back to life as normal and occassionally look back and talk about at the Covid Crises of 2020? On the other hand, maybe everything will be forever changed, and our “new normal” will be drastically different than it was just three months ago. In any case, we look forward to the time when we can once again interact freely and fearlessly.  We’re hungry for a reunion.

The story of Nehemiah is as much a story of reunuion as anything. God had allowed His own people to be overtaken, conquered, and separated from each other for seventy years, as a result of their rebellion. Nehemiah led the effort to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, repent of their corporate sins, and bring God’s family back together again – a reunion with God and with each other.

In chapter 12, Nehemiah had finished his project and returned to Babylon to resume his duties with Artaxerxes. Twelve years later, in chapter 13, he travels back to Jerusalem, only to find the Israelites back to their old ways.(Sound familiar?).

* They compromised with culture, (vss 1-3). Instead of being a people who demonstrated godliness, they preferred to accommodate, acquiesce, and adapt to the culture around them. They became polotically correct. Nehemiah insisted on scriptural standards.

*The priests prospered themselves first, (vss 4-14). Instead of distributing the resources equitably, they became more profit-minded than prophet-minded. Nehemiah tossed their belongings to the curb.

*They sold out the Sabbath, (vss 15-22).  Instead of having a day set aside to focus on faith and family, finances ruled. Nehemiah threatened to rough them up – “I will lay hands on you!”

*They failed their families, (vss 23-29). Instead of having homes centered on and dedicated to God, they married pagan partners, adopted their religion, and neglected to teach their children about their true heritage as the people of God. Nehemiah cursed them, punched them, and pulled out their hair. (And you think your pastor is rough.)

While we may see Nehemiah’s responses as extreme, remember that Jesus also tossed furniture, spouted scripture, and whipped up on some folks (John 2). Nehemiah was more concerned about God’s opinion of him than what anyone else thought. He repeated three times, “Remember me, O my God, for good.”

I hope we also will take the extra time we have suddenly been given – time we usually complain about not having – and evaluate our lives, our worship, our business practices, and our family priorities. Twelve years from now, how will we be different?

 

Published in: on March 27, 2020 at 12:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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