Before the walls were dedicated the priests and Levites purified themselves. Then they purified the people, the gates and the walls.
The leaders and two choirs went up on to the top of the walls. The choirs walked round the top of the walls singing and praising God, and the sound of their rejoicing could be heard far away.
The people have returned to God and promise to follow God, and Nehemiah returned to work for the king. Shirley said it would be great if the story had finished there.but it didn’t. Sadly, In chapter 13, Elishab the priest is put in charge of the stoorooms of God. He is friends with Tobias(who mocked Nehemiah in chapter 4:3) and allows him to use the storeroom and God’s storeroom is no longer cared for as it should be, and the people get drawn back into their sinful ways. Nehemiah on hearing this returns to Jerusalem. Imagine how he must have felt seeing how the had strayed from God. Yet Nehemiah’s reaction is one of faithfulness to God.
- He spoke God’s truth into the situation
- He challenges the people in charge and says ‘why have you done this?’.
- He has a clear purpose
- He is straightforward and honest.
- He has integrity. Everything in his life was beyond reproach.
- He was devoted in prayer.
- He kept his eyes on God
Shirley said there is a saying ‘ you can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink’ but ‘ you can give the horse salt and make it thirsty’.
Nehemiah is like salt. He made the people thirsty for God.
The challenge for us is to be salt in the world. To be like Nehemiah and make people thirsty for God.