Read Nehemiah 13
Focus on verses 23-25
Christians often decry the onset of this postmodern, post Christian age as a tragic decline of civilization as we know it. While there have been some frightening developments over the past few years. It would appear to some that the age of Judeo-Christian moral values being held as the standard of human behavior is fading into history, and a new age of relativism is challenging traditional values that have been the norm for the past century or so. While some of these developments pose a serious challenge to Christianity, I believe the end result will be that the church will not only survive the onslaught, but will ultimately be stronger as a result of being tested.
Nehemiah noticed some moral decay infecting Jerusalem in his absence. He had returned to Babylon after the wall had been completed, when he returned from his time in Babylon, Tobiah was renting a room in the temple, the Levites were not being supported and temple was not being maintained according to the instructions that he had left. Nehemiah wastes little time in setting these things right. He fearlessly confronts the immorality that was creeping in under the noses of those who should have known better. I suspect that as Nehemiah corrected these wrongs within the temple and the city of Jerusalem, be made a few people very angry. I can’t imagine Tobias was pleased to find his belongings pitched out of the temple by Nehemiah. There may also have been quite a number of young men who did not understand why they should separate themselves from their foreign wives.
Nehemiah confronted the immorality of Israel head on without compromise, and for the most part Israel responded to his exhortation. In doing so he strengthened the foundation of the nation by purging from the city those things, which threatened to compromise the moral fabric of the nation of Israel. By confronting immorality Nehemiah may well have saved the people of the nation much hardship.
As I consider the cesspool of evil that exists in certain sectors of our “once Christian” nation, I can’t help think that America benefit from the leadership of a man like Nehemiah. Either that, or we would simply crucify him and go on swimming in our cesspool of sin…but then that wouldn’t be the first time something like that has happened. It was the descendants of these people who returned to rebuild Jerusalem that some four or five hundred years later would condemn and crucify Jesus of Nazareth because he confronted them with their own immorality.