Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Nehemiah-Together As One

By Mary Vee
Nehemiah 10

From Nehemiah's Journal

Photo Courtesy
My name is Nehemiah. I had been a servant in Babylon for a long time.

The king of Babylon graciously allowed me to return home to help encourage the people in moving forward with their lives. We rebuilt the walls, and that was no little job, I'm just sayin'. We had troubles you couldn't imagine from bullies who didn't want to see Jerusalem rebuilt. But those bullies lost.

A few moments ago the Levites said a prayer of dedication for the city and the people. I am standing here before the crowds. They are smiling, cheering, praising God. Their enthusiasm to follow the ways of God are inspiring. Music is playing. There is clapping and dancing and celebration of praise to God.

Men, women, and children old enough to understood stood together as brothers and sisters and said these pledges together:

1. We promise not to give our daughters in marriage to the people around us or take their daughters for our sons.
2. We will not buy merchandise or grain from neighboring peoples on the Sabbath or any holy day.
3. Every seventh year we will stop working our land and will cancel all debts.
4. We will  take on the responsibility to pay a third of a shekel each year for the service of the house of our God.
5. We will each take our turn providing wood for the temple.
6. We will give the first of our crops and fruit trees to the house of the Lord.
7. We will also bring the firstborn of our herds, cattle, and flocks to the temple.
8. And we will bring the first of our ground meal, grain, new wine and oil to feed the Levites, keepers of the temple.
9. We will not neglect the house of our God.

Hearing the people shout these words, and seeing the enthusiasm in their hearts made me happy to be here. We all praised God together. 

Everything seemed to be moving forward. Enthusiasm to worship and obey God's commands. The Israelites working together. Yes. This is good. 

I remembered my promise to return to the king in Babylon. This seemed to be a good time to go back and report the progress made in Jerusalem to the king. 

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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