Nehemiah 12,13

There were a number priests and Levites that went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: These included Seraiah, Jeremiah and Ezra along with many others too, Nehemiah 12: 1-23.

Some of the Levites were appointed to praise and give thanks, according to the commandment of David, vs 24. Others were porters keeping the ward at the thresholds of the gates, vs 25. At the time of the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites and brought them to Jerusalem, to dedicate the wall with gladness, thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps, vs 27.  

And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, and the gates, and the wall too, vs 30. The wall and gates were ultimately dedicated amidst the sound of trumpets, songs of thanks giving and praise and great sacrifices, which resulted in great joy and gladness for all who participated, vs 31-43. As time went by, during Nehemiah’s absence, many evils once again began being practiced by the Jewish exiles who returned to Jerusalem!

There were marriage alliances made with non Jews, (Nehemiah 13: 23,24) and the high priest Eliashib, vs 28, made an alliance with Tobiah, the enemy of the Jews, and gave him a court in the house of God, vs 4-7! Besides, the Sabbath laws were not being kept, vs 15-18, and the Levites and singers were not being provided for!

So they abandoned the work and fled to their own fields, vs 10,11! On hearing and seeing these things, Nehemiah took strict action against each of the concerned people and made sure that law and order was once again maintained, vs 1-3,7-9,11-13,17-22,25-28,30-31!

Time and again in this chapter, we hear of Nehemiah contending with the people who sinned, and so led others astray too! It was only then that the people came to their senses and corrected themselves!

As leaders, one needs to be such a person who contends earnestly for the faith, or else, there are certain ungodly people who will creep in unawares, and turn the grace of our God into a license for sin, and not only deny the Lord themselves, but lead others who are weak minded into sin too, Jude 1:3-4! Without such bold and exemplary leadership, who choose not to seek the honour of man and refuse to compromise for the sake of false unity, the work of God will suffer loss and the people will eventually perish!

Let us be determined to seek the revelation of the glory of God in our midst our magnificent obsession, for which we are willing to lose our reputation before people and give up what we cannot keep to gain what we cannot lose. Amen.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.