Monday, April 15, 2013

Nehemiah 7


   Nehemiah has been in charge of the rebuilding of the wall but now that the wall is built and they are to begin making it an inhabited city, Nehemiah wisely appoints new leadership.  He appoints leadership in worship as well as leadership in government.  
     - It is important to note that he appoints God fearing men of integrity for both position in the church as well as the government.  
     - The Lord appointed Nehemiah to rebuild the wall, but even though it was a task given to him, he did not do it on his own.  The Lord provided helpful leadership from other, he provided the men and women to do the hard labor, he provided the King's assistance, resources and protection.  We, as believers, can apply this in our own lives.  Nehemiah is one name of many many people that carried out the work of the Lord.  Nehemiah did a great job of recording the workers and the work they did, and that is for a good reason.  No matter where you are serving, whether you get worldy recognition, whether you ever see a difference, YOU are a critical part in the success of the Lord's work.  That is such a sweet characteristic of the Lord, that He uses us to fulfill his will in so many ways.  From the stay at home mother that is raising her children up in the faith to the sun-scorched missionary taking care of the ill, every little service matters and is cherished by the Lord.

The List of the Exiles
     -Its hard, but try to read through every name and think of them as actual people that lived.  So often i read through a list of names and they just don't seem real to me.  They are just names, in history.  But try to put a face to the names and cherish that we have a list of descendants who lived in the days of Nehemiah and Esther and Daniel and try to make it as real as possible.  These were 100% real people with beards and hairy legs and stinky armpits.  They had family problems, they struggled with sin, they had jobs.  Don't just skip through the names, read them and say them out loud if it helps.  But try to do this throughout the whole Bible, not just through genealogies.  The Bible is alive, these names were alive.  Do whatever you can to read the chapters and stories believing that.

     -The list of the exiles in Nehemiah differs slightly from the list of names in Ezra.  There are many reasons floating around for these discrepancies, some of which seem very fair:

     > Perhaps errors occurred in the process of copying subsequent manuscripts.
     > The lists may have been made under slightly different circumstances: Ezra may have listed those who announced their intentions of returning to Judah, while Nehemiah may have listed those that actually arrived.
     > Perhaps Nehemiah spelled some of the names slightly differently than Ezra
     >The number of women may account for the difference in the totals, but that would mean three times as many men returned than women.
     >The difference in numbers could also represent the number of children under 12
     >The difference in numbers could also represent Jews from tribes other than Judah and Benjamin

    -Both Ezra and Nehemiah use the same grand total, 42, 360, so the differences in the other numbers is not something to worry about.  

Verses 63-65: Not allowing these descendants to be a part of the priesthood may seem harsh, but it shows the dedication and fear of the Lord in His people.  "There were strict requirements for the priesthood that symbolized the purity and holiness needed to come into God's presence, and any priest that attempted to minister while unclean risked death.(Leviticus 8-10)" (Quest Study Bible notes)  They could not be sure that these men were truly the descendants of Aaron, and the Lord had appointed only the descendants of Aaron to be priests and eat of the most holy sacred food.  

If you have anything to add or any questions about Nehemiah 7 then please feel free to leave a comment.  I'll get back with any questions as soon as I ask someone wiser than me;) Have a wonderful day! Love, Devon

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