Read Nehemiah 13:10-14. What is Nehemiah seeking to remedy here?
The singers, gatekeepers, and other temple servants had to go back to working in their own fields in order to feed their families, because the work for God was not being supported. The whole tithes-and-offerings system that was so painstakingly established now lay in ruins. Nehemiah had to start over. The act of throwing everything out of the room shows desperation.
“Not only had the temple been profaned, but the offerings had been misapplied. This had tended to discourage the liberalities of the people. They had lost their zeal and fervor, and were reluctant to pay their tithes. The treasuries of the Lord’s house were poorly supplied; many of the singers and others employed in the temple service, not receiving sufficient support, had left the work of God to labor elsewhere” – Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 670.
It is fascinating to see that all of Judah came together again and rebuilt what had been destroyed. The people were on Nehemiah’s side against Tobiah and Eliashib, because they must have realized that Nehemiah did everything he could for the benefit of the people. Additionally, Nehemiah entrusted the temple grounds overseers’ positions to men whom he considered faithful and trustworthy. They were given the task of collecting tithes and offerings, making sure the goods were stored properly, and distributing the resources to the appropriate parties. In other words, Nehemiah came in and uprooted the corrupt system of leadership seemingly in one fell swoop.
Although Nehemiah appointed faithful men over the organization of the temple, the corrupt High Priest, Eliashib, did not lose his position, because it was handed down through Aaron’s descent. His work in the temple might have been crippled by Nehemiah’s measures of appointing others over some of the High Priest’s responsibilities, but he was still the High Priest.
|Nehemiah had prayed, “Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for its services!” (Neh. 13:14, NKJV). What was so human about that prayer?|