Saturday, November 5, 2016

Nehemiah-That Sly Tobiah

By Mary Vee
Nehemiah 10

From Nehemiah's Journal

Photo Courtesy
My name is Nehemiah. 

The king seemed pleased to see me back in Babylon. He invited me into his courts and asked, "Tell me about Jerusalem, Nehemiah. What has been done there?"

I was very excited to share all the stories I'd already told you, and I made sure to include the mean things Sanballot and Tobias had done to try and stop our success. 

Anyway. Pleased to hear the good news, the king went about his day as usual and I went back to being his cupbearer, satisfied with what God had done in my homeland. 

The days went on like usual and I fell into my old routine of duties. I was, after all, still a slave in Babylon. As time went on though, I thought of Jerusalem and wondered how the city had flourished. If they'd continued doing as God asked, all the buildings should be in repair, the people tithing, festivals observed. Oh, I wish I could be there to see.

One evening as I served the king his meal, after tasting and insuring the food would not harm him, I asked if I could go back to Jerusalem to see the progress. To my surprise he said yes--without any hesitation.

The king wrote me a letter for safe passage and gave me an escort and a horse. As we climbed the last hill before the city I gazed at it. So beautiful. What a wonderful gift from God for His people. The walls stood strong to protect the people. Everything must be wonderful inside the city gates.

I urged my horse forward, arriving before the sun set, which is when the gates are closed for the night.

I invited the men who escorted me to the same home I'd used when rebuilding the walls and offered them food and drink. Their animals were cared for in the nearby stables. That night I slept in my own bed in my home in my own country. And slept very well.

The next morning, I met with the council. That's when I learned what had been going on in my absence. 

Eliashib, the priest had been put in charge of the storerooms for the house of God. He had close ties with that rotten bully, Tobiah. Without permission, and basically in secret, Eliashib gave Tobiah a large room which used to store the grain offerings, incense, temple articles, and the gifts of grain, new wine, and oil set aside for Levites, singers and gatekeepers, as well as the gifts for the priests.

The second I found out that Eliashib had given Tobiah a room in the courts of the house of God I stormed to the room and threw all Tobiah's household goods out. I gave orders to purify the rooms then had all the equipment and offerings put back where they should have been in the first place.

That guy. Can you believe he did that?

And this was just the beginning. The next few days, I have a feeling my work would be cut out for me.

Come back next time, because interesting tales happen in Jerusalem in days to come.

sources: New International Version, New King James Version

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