Nehemiah 13 jerusalem drift (Audio file for download)
The big picture of this book is that just as the walls of Jerusalem were broken down, all of us have broken walls that need to be rebuilt. Just as God sent Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of His city, He sent Christ to rebuild the walls of our lives. We have been looking at healthy walls as representative of a healthy city, and for us a healthy person. A broken wall can be any area of struggle, or sin that God needs to rebuild in your life. An impossible situation that you are facing, or hurt that needs to be healed. I hope that you have seen in all of our study as we have related this story back to the story of Christ is that the greatest brokenness in your life was, or is the broken relationship between God and mankind. When Adam and Eve fell in the garden, the fellowship that they shared with the creator was severed and sin entered in to the world. From that very moment, there was a wrong that must be made right, and it was the wrong committed against God. the slap in the face to the just father. It was an injustice that must be punished, and one that we all inherited from our first parents.
Now, all this to say that the moment of your conversion is the rebuilding of the wall of your heart. From that moment you’re clean, forgiven, justified and declared righteous. Your sins have been atoned for and the just wrath that you deserved was poured out of Christ at the cross. The wall is rebuilt, miraculously, in such a way that no one can take credit for it. It is an amazing work of grace.
The truth though that we all must wrestle with is that though our standing with God is secure, and we are declared righteous, we are not yet perfect, and frankly we never will be till we get to heaven. So, what happens in the meantime. Well, we can look at our text today and see what happened after the wall was built, and gain some insight into what are some areas that we are “prone to wander” I want to look at four common areas that Christians can drift. The thing I want us to remember is that you never, or hardly ever make major changes in your heart overnight. It is almost always subtle drifts that creep and creep and creep, until one day you wake up and realize you are way off the rails.
Let’s read the text…
Eliashib and Tobiah’s drift.- God has a specific purpose for our hearts, we must keep it constantly filled with Him. Eliashib allowed Tobiah to take residency in a room that was meant for something entirely different. He drifted towards comfort, and selfishness. They corrupted the temple of The Lord by using it for selfish pursuits. In there time, the temple was a place, after Christ, our bodies became the house of God, so we drift when we allow things to come in and take up residence in our hearts that aren’t supposed to be there. It can be an attitude, a pattern, a thought process that is not of God. I find it interesting as well that Tobiah has been mentioned several times in this book. What is his M.O.? Well, he is an Isaelite, and related to the Levites somehow, so he is one of them, but he is constantly resisting Nehemiah’s leadership, and ultimately God’s leadership.
Drifting from the house of God– drifting from spiritual disciplines. The Neglecting your spiritual life. There was a system set up by God to take care of the Levites and the singers. The people were called to tithe from their grain, wine and oil to the house of God. It was meant to be their provision. When they did not receive it from their source, they went to other places to find it. We to have been given provision by God, through His Word, and if we do not continually feed our hearts with the means God has established, our hearts will be forced to search elsewhere, and we will take hold of whatever seems best at the time. Like a dog whose water bowl is empty might be found drinking from the toilet.
Drifting from reliance on God– forgetting the reason for the Sabbath and beginning to trust more in your own abilities, instead of relying on God. God created the Sabbath for a purpose, it was to remind us that we are not God, and we need to trust in Him….
Drifting from God’s people– allowing worldly influence into our hearts. Marrying people outside the faith.
How should we react? Nehemiah’s reaction was violent and severe. Do you see your areas of drift as Nehemiah did, or do you treat the lightly?