Nehemiah was a man of his word. If you remember back in Nehemiah 2, a deal was made for Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem and then return:
â€œThen the king said to me (the queen also sitting beside him), â€˜How long will your journey be? And when will you return?â€™ So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.â€ (Nehemiah 2:6)
Scripture does not tell us what that deal was, but it is clear that Nehemiah would return after his work in Jerusalem was finished. We know from Nehemiah 5:16 that he spent 12 years as governor of Judah and then must have returned to King Artaxerxes to report on what had been accomplished. Word must have got back to Nehemiah that things had gone wrong in Judah:
â€œNow before this, Eliashib the priest, having authority over the storerooms of the house of our God, was allied with Tobiah. And he had prepared for him a large room, where previously they had stored the grain offerings, the frankincense, the articles, the tithes of grain, the new wine and oil, which were commanded to be given to the Levites and singers and gatekeepers, and the offerings for the priests. But during all this I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Then after certain days I obtained leave from the king, and I came to Jerusalem and discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, in preparing a room for him in the courts of the house of God. And it grieved me bitterly; therefore I threw all the household goods of Tobiah out of the room. Then I commanded them to cleanse the rooms; and I brought back into them the articles of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.â€ (Nehemiah 13:4-9)
The most compelling part of the passage above is that Nehemiah did not just voice his displeasure over what had happened in his absence; he took action! Would it not be wonderful to see our state and national leaders, in public office and positions of trust, to do more than just speak words? Would not some real action from so-called leaders be a refreshing change?
What also would be nice is to see not the same old tired and corrupt people running our government but some fresh blood, those who openly espouse and live values that are grounded in loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. I am talking about the values that leaders must possess to be of any effect. Nehemiah appointed such men to important positions in his second administration as governor of Judah:
â€œI also realized that the portions for the Levites had not been given them; for each of the Levites and the singers who did the work had gone back to his field. So I contended with the rulers, and said, â€˜Why is the house of God forsaken?â€™ And I gathered them together and set them in their place. Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the storehouse. And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouse Shelemiah the priest and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah; and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah; for they were considered faithful, and their task was to distribute to their brethren.â€ (Nehemiah 13:10-13)
Go back and read that passage again. Nehemiah not only called out the corrupt individuals, but he also replaced them with men who â€œwere considered faithful.â€ What a concept; men considered faithful serving in public office!
Look to Washington D.C. and what do you see? Corruption has poisoned our government. The same is true at the state level; even conservative Northwest Florida and its state and local government representatives have been indicted and convicted of corruption. How can this be? Well if it remains it is because â€œWe the Peopleâ€ allow it to be with our negligence.
Until â€œWe the Peopleâ€ return to trust in God first (kind of like what it says on our money), then evil will prevail. When we reject God in our lives then we reject His protective hand. Until we return to Creator God referenced in our Declaration of Independence, we will be a corrupt nation. This quote from John Adams has been used many times but it bears repeating, but with the whole quote for context:
â€œWe have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.â€
Next time you hear the toxic lie that religion has no place in politics you whip that quote out. A republican form of government has no place in politics WITHOUT religion and not just any religion but Christianity! Again here is another quote Iâ€™ve used numerous times but it bears repeating. John Jay was a Founding Father, member of the First and Second Continental Congresses, in which he was instrumental in the ratification of the Constitution by writing the Federalist Papers along with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. He was also Governor of New York and the First US Supreme Court Chief Justice. This is what Jay had to say about Christianity and government:
â€œProvidence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.â€ October 12, 1816
The next time I vote for someone, I want to be able to tell my Lord when I stand before Him that I voted for them because â€œthey were considered faithful.â€
What a conceptâ€¦
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