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Summary: Remaining true to the covenant of holiness with God.

KEEPING OUR PROMISES -- NEHEMIAH 13 (quickview) 

Introduction:

* Gen. William Booth of the Salvation Army: “I want you young men always to bear in mind that it is in the nature of a fire to go out; you must keep it stirred and fed and the ashes removed.”

* Nehemiah had left Jerusalem to return to King Artaxerxes.

* While gone, Israel slipped from the commitments made in chp. 10.

* He returns to Jerusalem and leads them back (sometimes forcibly) to faithfulness.

1. Separation Reestablished

* This is done to bring holiness to the people.

A) No Ammonites or Moabites in the assembly - v.1-3

* They had not given food or water to Israelites while in the Exodus and had sent Balaam to curse them.

* They became the enemies of God’s people.

* The “assembly” was the ceremonial worship.

B) Tobiah evicted from the house of God - v.4-9

* Eliashib the high priest has given Tobiah the Ammonite one of the treasury rooms to live in.

* Not only had he allowed an Ammonite into the assembly, but had let him take residence in the place of worship.

* He is given a place of AUTHORITY.

* Neh.’s eviction notice to Tobiah: Furniture in the street

* The room is purified.

C) Halt to intermarriage - v.23-29

* This was to prevent influence of idolatry (Deut. 7:3-4).

* Ammonites did child sacrifice to Molech.

* Moabites did child sacrifice to Chemosh.

* Nehemiah uses force to shame the men by plucking out the hair of their beards.

* Reminds them that King Solomon was led to idolatry by a pagan wife.

> No influence of sin in our worship.

> No enemies residing in God’s house with authority.

> No influence of sin in our homes.

* This means to rid ourselves of the things that we invite in and cause temptation.

- Pornography by magazine or internet.

- Violent movies or TV shows

- Unwholesome relationships with co-workers.

- Alcohol and drugs

- Engaging in unwholesome conversations.

2. Sabbath Reestablish - v.15-22

* This is done to bring honor to God.

* It is wicked to desecrate what God has sanctified.

- Desecrate = make common what is holy.

* Nehemiah warns, rebukes, reminds (v.18), orders (doors to be closed), and runs off traders (no sinful influence).

* Sabbath = holy day of rest and worship.

* KEY: Don’t do on Sunday what can be done anyday.

* Attitude toward the Lord’s Day is an indicator of our spiritual maturity.

> We must see worship as a high priority.

- No “consumer” mentality.

- We come to BRING honor to God.

> Remove your blinders and inhibitions and lift your praise to God.

> Our level of worship tells of our level of faith and understanding.

> Set the example for your family, children, and friends.

3. Support Reestablished

* This is done to bring honesty to the people.

A) Caring for the ministry and ministers - v.10-11

* When Levites had left for work in fields, Nehemiah’s question was, “Why is the house of God neglected?”

* If Levites did not have enough to live on, then their ministry would be left undone while they worked in the fields.

* 1 Cor. 9:7-12a - Don’t muzzle the ox...

B) Physical work - v.13

* Nehemiah appointed 4 men as treasurers.


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