Daily Word

Reform 2-Cleanse The Temple|Nehemiah 13:4-9

4 Now prior to this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, being related to Tobiah, 5 had prepared a large room for him, where previously they used to put the grain offerings, the frankincense, the utensils and the tithes of grain, wine, and oil prescribed for the Levites, the singers, and the gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests. 6 But during all this time I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had come to the king.

After some time, however, I requested a leave of absence from the king, 7 and I came to Jerusalem and learned about the evil that Eliashib had committed for Tobiah, by preparing a room for him in the courtyards of the house of God. 8 It was very displeasing to me, so I threw all of Tobiah’s household articles out of the room. 9 Then I gave an order, and they cleansed the rooms; and I returned the utensils of the house of God there with the grain offering and the frankincense.

Nehemiah 13:4-9 (NASB)

Cat’s away, mice play

Nehemiah had an official position with the King so had to return to Babylon to attend to business. While he was gone, this incident occurred. The priest, Eliashib, who was manager of temple storage, allocated space that was intended for sacred temple service to Tobiah. Nehemiah couldn’t believe it. It was “very displeasing” to him. Why? Three reasons, suggested by enduringword.com:

  1. because rooms in the courts of the temple of God were being occupied by a man not only a pagan, but who also had a history of actively opposing God’s work in the days of Nehemiah.
  2. it reflected so badly on the spiritual leaders – no one confronted the problem.
  3. it made Nehemiah question the lasting value of the spiritual revival he witnessed when last in Jerusalem.

Righteous indignation

How does Nehemiah respond? He physically evicted him. He didn’t just talk about how bad it was or call a meeting to discuss it and vote. It was a blatant offense that no one had the guts to address. He took immediate action in the name of the Lord. This is a strong leader.

Does this remind you of anyone else? Yes, John 2:13-16, where Jesus made a whip and drove the money changes out of the temple. Over time, the proper use of the temple was compromised and Jesus needed to make a point – God’s temple is holy and must be kept holy.

We are the Temple

Check ourselves. We are the Temple of God. Have we allowed some sin to take root in our lives? It could be so engrained we are blind to it. The Holy Spirit is bringing it to your mind right now! Take deliberate action, now!

Image from cnbc.com

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