How it should have ended. These are words that we should think about when we read the last chapter of the book of Nehemiah. Before Nehemiah 13 we see the people rejoicing! The wall which was rebuilt after 52 days is now being rededicated and everyone is celebrating. But suddenly, when we read through chapter 13, the perfect ending that we were expecting isn’t going to happen due to a lot reforms Nehemiah still needed to implement. Nehemiah has left and gone back to his duty as a cup-bearer to the king. When he returned, he saw that his people were sinning against the Lord once again.
- The rooms in the house of the Lord was desecrated
- No one was supporting the work of the Lord once again
- The Sabbath was not being obeyed
- People were intermarrying again
This moved Nehemiah to rebuke his people and execute reforms that will ensure they don’t sin again. When you read through Nehemiah 13 you will actually see that he did a lot! He could have been disappointed with what happened. He could have left the judgment to God. But he didn’t. He was a man of action. There was nothing in his heart but the love for the Lord. His desire to please his God pushed him to do greater things. That’s why in the end, with a clear conscience, he was able to say:
Remember me, O my God
There are 5S that we can learn from Nehemiah. These are 5S that Nehemiah wasn’t:
- Nehemiah was never Self-reliant
- Nehemiah was never Scared
- Nehemiah was never Silent
- Nehemiah was never Side-tracked
- Nehemiah never tolerated Sin
How can we become like this man? How was he able to act this way? I believe it was because of his intimate relationship with his God. He loved his God so much that his actions naturally flowed from him to act this way.
5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
If you look at the book of Nehemiah there are so many factors that make up the book – a great leader, a man of God, a stubborn generation, and a wall that needed to be rebuilt. But if you’re really going to think about it, it is really just about God. How God needed to get the attention of his people by allowing them to be captured by the Babylonians and have their wall destroyed. How God can use someone to do great things because of his love for the Lord. If you’re going to look up the word “remember” in the book of Nehemiah, there are a lot of instances where Nehemiah would recall what the Lord has done for his people – how the Lord has been faithful. The law and even the covenant was not able to ensure that the people would be righteous. Here we would see that only through an intimate relationship with God can one person really be victorious. Only through abiding in Jesus will we be able to say someday, with a clear conscience, “remember me, O my God.”