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Tuesday: Nehemiah Acts — 7 Comments

  1. Most of us who drive cars on the road think of the road rules in terms of infringements. If you go over the speed limit, drive through a stop sign, drive on the wrong side of the road, overtake where no overtaking is allowed, and so on, and you get caught, you are fined. Ultimately, if you do it often enough, you can lose your licence to drive.

    Most of us don't like the punishment so we keep to the letter of the law, almost. We drive a little bit faster than the speed limit knowing that the traffic cops won't book you until you are at least 5kph over the speed limit. But driving is much more than just keeping the letter of the law. Essentially, the law is there to keep us safe so that we can go about our daily lives with a fair degree of safely on the roads. It is when we cut corners both literally and figuratively that we have accidents and cause grief.

    Courteous driving goes beyond keeping the law and means we watch out for one another. It sometimes means we do not take our right of way, simply because to do so would be dangerous and cause an accident. When we were on our last camping trip in our "Troopy" a vehicle pulling a caravan in front of us signalled that it was turning left and pulled into the turning lane. (This is in Australia where we drive on the left side of the road). My wife ws driving and she started to move forward to pass the vehicle. Just was she was about to pass the driver of the vehicle in front decided that he needed a wider turning circle to get his caravan around the corner, so while still signalling that they were turning left they swung back partially into our lane. An aggressive driver would have blasted the horn and shaken their fist at the other driver, but the courteous driver braked suddenly and allowed the the other vehicle and its caravan to complete the turn. (Probably just as well Carmel was driving and not me!) It was simply a case of being courteous even when the other person was technically in breach of the law.

    In spiritual terms, "the law" is not there to be obeyed but rather to provide us with guidelines for community and spiritual well-being. Jesus raised the bar on the intent of the law when he summarised it as "Love God and love one another!" Once we understand that, restitution when we are in the wrong is a no-brainer.

  2. The response of the rulers and nobles
    We will restore it: Their teachable, correctable spirit was impressive; too few are willing to admit they are wrong and to do what is right – especially if money is involved.
    Nehemiah wisely knew their words were not enough. Their actions had to be followed through with real action – and it was: the people did according to this promise.
    With the oaths, and public record of all this, Nehemiah assures accountability – something we often need to help us do what our spirit is willing to do, but our flesh is weak to do! Perhaps accountability is a missing step in dealing with an area where you are having a hard time doing what is right.

    Our pastor when he went vegan he announced it to all his friends and the church, so that he would be held accountable.
    He shared when he went on a road trip with his wife as his custom was he was about to walk into a food place and order his meal.
    His wife reminded him of his pledge. Many in our church are vegan; therefore, the group holds each other accountable on what food can be consumed.
    We as a people need to strengthen each other in our walk with the Lord.


    Woe to you corrupt church treasurers!

    You have two receipt books, one for the local church and another fake one for reporting to the station. You forge signatures and withdraw church funds. You do business with church money. You don't even hesitate to touch sacred things!

    Woe to you church leaders!

    You can't give a tender for a church project unless the one looking for it agrees to give you a certain percentage of the money. Ought you to walk in the fear of the Lord!
    You burden the church of Christ with unnecessary contributions. You make the church members angry by not giving a report on how their money was used. You focus on camp meeting only where a one-week stay of 3 to 5 guests cost millions and takes a whole year to prepare. Ought you not to think and plan about evangelism?

    Woe to you church choir!

    Your choir teachers overcharge for the songs they teach! You overcharge choir members for the uniforms they wear. You overcharge even for your CDs. Are you making profit from the church of Christ ? You got it free, give it free.

    • Cyrus, are you citing from experience?

      As I have mentioned several times my whole working life was spent in Church employment. There have been cases of exploitation for sure, but overall most of the people I have worked with are characterised as "selfless service". And there have always been those who have criticised the leadership through misperception and jealousy. Our leadership is not perfect - they are people just like us. And like us, sometimes they need reminding that they are not making wise decisions.

      I have many happy memories of wise school principals, conference presidents, musical directors who have contributed to my spiritual development and understanding by word and example. They outnumber those who were self-centred, abusive or greedy by a long shot.

    • Maurice is right Cyrus. Most all of our leaders are not self serving, rather are selfless serving, serving others. Would that we would bask in the sun, so that our jaundice eyes lose there yellow color and become white again. Christ said take the juniper log out of your own eye before trying to remove the piece of sawdust from your neighbors eye. Matthew 7:4. The instruction that comes before the illustration, is good to read also. Matthew 7:1-2. The Holy Spirit instructed James to say: “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” ‭‭James‬ ‭3:14-16‬.
      Then verse 17 and 18. They describe what we become if we lay hold on Christ, appropriating His merits. James 3:17-18.

  4. Yes, we are not perfect. Yes we make mistakes and have done wrong to others. But if our counsciousness is aware, we can turn back and try to make things right. We all live under the same sun. God is the One Who gives us life and opportunities! May we embrace this present of ours and do our best to make things right!

  5. The church is in a great degree responsible for the sins of her members. She gives countenance to evil if she fails to lift her voice against it.
    (Prophets and Kings, pp. 651, 652)

    However, too many times when leaders "lift their voice against it" it's done in scratching rebuke that bears little on no fruit. Nehemiah scratching rebuke did not bring results, but when he humbly appeal to them they listened.

    The lesson author uses an interesting word; "solicitous" ..Nehemiah demonstrated that under his governorship, he would like people to be solicitous toward each other. Solicitous means our eagerness or anxiousness to show concern. How close or far away am I from this reality towards the breathern?

    The following statement falls right into the lap of our SDA members who bash other members on Facebook or publicly vent their disenchantment.

    "If matters of difficulty between brethren were not laid open before others, but frankly spoken of between themselves in the spirit of Christian love, how much evil might be prevented! How many roots of bitterness whereby many are defiled would be destroyed, and how closely and tenderly might the followers of Christ be united in His love! " (Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 58, 59).

    Have a blessed day.


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