Governor Nehemiah’s Zeal

As a non-American, I learn a lot about the Bible from the presidential election in the United States.  For example, there are Evangelicals or Christians (people who profess to believe in the Bible) who refuse to vote for Mr Trump.  Apparently he is rude and offensive.   

The record of Governor Nehemiah in the Bible is a reminder to me about how to judge offensive behaviour.  Nehemiah, one of the exiled Jews, was cupbearer to the Persian king, Artaxerxes, in the city of Susa.  

He heard from one of his brothers, Hanani, and others, about the situation in Jerusalem, 

‘Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace.  The wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates have been burned with fire.’  Nehemiah 1:3

His reaction:  

‘When I [Nehemiah] heard these things, I sat down and wept.  For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.’  Nehemiah 1:4

He asked the Persian king permission to go to Jerusalem to re-build its wall.  

Nehemiah was an inspiring leader.  The wall was completed in 52 days.  Yet at times he was not that gentle and diplomatic.  Some examples:    

#  Eliashib the priest, allowed Tobiah, one of the enemies of the Jews, to live in a room in the temple complex.  Nehemiah 

‘was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah’s household goods out of the room.’  Nehemiah 13:8  

Surely the newspapers reported it in large headlines,  ‘Governor Nehemiah throws Tobiah’s goods out of his temple room.  Disgusting!’ 

#  When Nehemiah learned about the unfaithfulness of the Jews who married foreign women, he 

‘rebuked them and called curses down on them.’  Nehemiah 13:25 

Imagine the headlines, ‘Bad Governor rebukes and curses the people.  Terrible!’  

# Nehemiah, 

‘beat some of the men and pulled out their hair.’  Nehemiah 13:25b 

O, the horror, the terror,  People in hospital due to Governor’s violence. Grave injuries.’  

Conclusion

The obstinacy of the people who refused to obey God must have, at times, been too much for Nehemiah.  He wanted his people to enjoy God’s blessings.  Covenant keeping was the way to prevent the horrors of the Exile.  Anybody who thinks the wrath of God on the Jews was a joke, should carefully read the Lamentations of Jeremiah.  That was eventually what Nehemiah was fighting against.  His last request was to God, 

’Remember me with favour, O my God.’  Nehemiah 13:31b  

We are sure that is exactly what God did.  Maybe one should be very careful not to denounce Nehemiah or President Trump. 

Author: Gerard and Alida

As you can see in the photo, there are two of us. We live and work together 24/7, studying and enjoying our grandchildren. Our passion is to know and understand what will happen after death. Is there a way to provide for and invest in that?

2 thoughts on “Governor Nehemiah’s Zeal”

  1. I think what we are looking at is the typical behavior of unregenerate man. The natural man expressing his views without the Spirit being present or at the very least considered.
    From an old covenant thinking point of view this understandable. The Spirit was not yet poured out. However, from a new covenant perspective where only the truly repentant believer in Christ Jesus has welcomed the transformation process by the Holy Spirit into his life, we find the greater mass of believers still oscillating in and out of the Spirit. The frequency of this oscillation would be indicative of where they are in their faith walk. They still look to the natural realm for understanding, as a consequence, their discerning and judgment is not always righteous. So, until they walk in the fullness of the Spirit, refusing to take counsel from the natural realm, sometimes they will bless, and sometimes the will curse.
    Thank you for bringing this thought provoking subject to the table Gerhard & Alida.
    Love you both 😍

    Liked by 2 people

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