Nehemiah 10-12: A Fresh Start

Well, My self-imposed break is nearing a conclusion.   Not exactly the way I planned, but my plan was flawed and I think God had a different plan and was just humoring me.   To be honest, I probably could have gone back three weeks ago, but because I had a plan and felt it was the right way to do it, I held onto it and tried to work the plan.   Well, my plan and God’s plan are two separate things, and I think the way God is working it out is better.  Confused?  Well, so am I.  LOL.   Let’s just say that with stepping back and clearing my head I have a better perspective of the past couple months that led me to having my little meltdown.   I see the areas I need to change in my life and I’m going to move forward and make the changes that need to be made.   I’m going back to my church on Sunday,and I’m going to quit wandering and wondering.   This is where GOD has me for the moment.

I’m going to combine Nehemiah 10-12 because the majority of these three chapters are a roll call of the builders and families, but there are parts that are fascinating mixed in.  Let’s take a look at some of these fascinating moments.

Nehemiah 10:29-39:  a vow, or maybe better yet, a contract that Israel makes to GOD.  There are three main elements to this contract:   1.  A promise to follow the LAW

2.  A promise to separate from the worldly/unGodly influences that surround them

3.  A promise to tithe and support the temple/priests/ministers of GOD

Open up the link and read those ten verses, they may not seem to be a big deal to some, but let’s take the situation in context.   Israel had been exiled for disobedience to GOD.   Read here in II Kings 17, it’s a description of the last days of Israel before they were exiled.   It’s a stark contrast between the two chapters.   In Nehemiah 10, we see a people recommiting to GOD and seriously contracting their belief and responsibilities with the CREATOR, with GOD.   The leadership had taken a long hard look at the past, and at the present and knew that if they wanted a future, it had to be set up correctly.  They needed to go back to their foundations.   It was  a fresh start for this group of returnees.   They had a choice of starting over on a foundation based on the rotted past that caused them to be exiled in the first place; or starting over and going back to the basics of their faith.   They chose the more stable foundation of their faith.   It was good leadership, however that started them on this path.  Starting with Nehemiah, and flowing down to the individual elders.   Nehemiah was able to find men of like vision and they partnered in a grand rebuilding,

Chapter 11 is basically a roll call.  Now that Jerusalem, the temple, and the walls had been rebuilt, it had to be repopulated and the temple staffed.   So lots were drawn and people assigned to who would live in Jerusalem.  There really isn’t anything notable in this chapter.  Historically significant probably, but not very interesting

Chapter 12, almost a carbon copy of Chapter 11, except that it’s a roll call of the Levites and priests that were serving in the temple, that is until you get to verse 27.   Now that everything has been set in place and staffing has been assigned, the grand reopening was going to happen.   A  huge festival was planned and carried out.   Musicians, singers, the leadership, the people……it was an event that Jerusalem hadn’t seen in years.  It was written, that the sound of rejoicing could be heard from far away.   The people had such joy they couldn’t contain themselves.  That’s exciting when your leadership is able to inspire the people to not only worship GOD, but to serve GOD.   Nehemiah was laying a strong foundation and the people were following.   More importantly, the people had rediscovered for themselves the value of a relationship with GOD.   That’s the mark of a true leader.   To inspire his/her people to follow GOD first, and them second.

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