On that day they read from the Book of Moses in the hearing of the people. And in it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God, 2 for they did not meet the people of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them—yet our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3 As soon as the people heard the law, they separated from Israel all those of foreign descent.
4 Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, and who was related to Tobiah, 5 prepared for Tobiah a large chamber where they had previously put the grain offering, the frankincense, the vessels, and the tithes of grain, wine, and oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests. 6 While this was taking place, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I went to the king. And after some time I asked leave of the king 7 and came to Jerusalem, and I then discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, preparing for him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. 8 And I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the chamber. 9 Then I gave orders, and they cleansed the chambers, and I brought back there the vessels of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.
10 I also found out that the portions of the Levites had not been given to them, so that the Levites and the singers, who did the work, had fled each to his field. 11 So I confronted the officials and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?” And I gathered them together and set them in their stations. 12 Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain, wine, and oil into the storehouses. 13 And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouses Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah of the Levites, and as their assistant Hanan the son of Zaccur, son of Mattaniah, for they were considered reliable, and their duty was to distribute to their brothers. 14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God and for his service.
15 In those days I saw in Judah people treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys, and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them on the day when they sold food. 16 Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of goods and sold them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah, in Jerusalem itself!
17 Then I confronted the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day? 18 Did not your fathers act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Now you are bringing more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”
19 As soon as it began to grow dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath.
And I stationed some of my servants at the gates, that no load might be brought in on the Sabbath day. 20 Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. 21 But I warned them and said to them, “Why do you lodge outside the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.”
From that time on they did not come on the Sabbath.
22 Then I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.
SOMETHING FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT
Jesus knew quite clearly as the exiled former slaves returned to Jerusalem, something remained.
Whenever Jesus did visit the Temple, He taught from "Solomon's" Portico.
Today we still have what remains.
This is marvelous. We have pillars of the First Temple which stood in the Second Temple. These pillars were there as Jesus walked among the believers in His Father's House.
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!
our God turned the curse into a blessing
And From THE NEW TESTAMENT
So Jesus told us we are the new Temple of God.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit marches through History and in the fact that mankind requires Jesus for Salvation and holds within themselves the ability to hold the Light of God in all of mankind, we see situations repeat.
The slaves were called "exiles" and exalted as a studied people by Emperor Nebuchadnezzar. In reality, they were slaves who were well treated and allowed to own homes like Ezekiel. To assemble and have freedom to worship and were totally... slaves.
Returning to the destroyed Jerusalem, 70 years predicted by Jeremiah and fulfilled, the newly reborn nation wobbled. And did things the wrong way. Not understanding where to go with their freedoms.
MAKING A 200 Year Old Repeat for Our Passage TODAY
What era could we compare this too and have some peace about today?
The Nation was so new, currency was not established and what was traded instead of actual monetary coin and paper? Small Farmers made Whiskey. And traded.
President Washington was called on to physically lead troops in Pennsylvania against people unsure how a nation should act. A new America. Riots about rights, liberty, representation, and taxes. What they had produced for many years was suddenly taxed by the New Nation to provide for the Common Defense. The American Revolution had cost the Federal Government $54 Million Dollars in Debt.
President Washington like Nehemiah - rushed in with a solution sure to upset everyone to make the place run smoothly.
Why did that ol' Bad George suggest this harm to the farmers?
Washington’s farm manager, James Anderson, suggested building a whiskey distillery adjacent to the mill. When it was completed in 1797, the distillery was the largest in America.
By 1799 it had become one of Washington’s most successful enterprises, producing 11,000 gallons of whiskey per year. A variety of whiskeys were produced, with brandy and vinegar. The most common whiskey recipe used 60% rye, 35% corn, and 5% malted barley. Some whiskey was flavored with cinnamon, wheat, apple, peach and persimmon brandies were also made.
Proving for all of us - the quick fix - the un-involvement as a solution for peace - does not work.
Promoting a situation Jesus told us of Directly as a Study of Mankind.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
But before you get to being the peace called Children of God - you might just travel down a little of this road realizing Nehemiah and George Washington faced real death and real weapons as a result of peace making.
7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
Nicey rarely works. Only sinners do the work of God. Mistakes and miscommunication and anger happen. Jesus said and considers His Ministry with His Father - Real work.
From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.
Our freedoms, women's suffrage, This Nation, the reborn Nation of Israel - all were FOUGHT for.
Pick up your cross - wear a cross and - be willing to speak and be counted for Jesus the Lord.
1 Peter 3:15-16
15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy,
always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason
for the hope that is in you;
yet do it with gentleness and respect,
16 having a good conscience
Blessed be the Name of Jesus and the people who know and Believe in Your Son.
We are in the Holy Spirit and we for believe and act - God gave us a Spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
We are taught that power - insults and offends. Makes Strength. This is incorrect. Sarcasm tears flesh. And yet, what mends hearts and encourages the Holy Spirit in us is not power and control is something far better. The Power of Love and Self- Control that increases Mercy and Grace. The Diligence of being steadfast in Jesus.
Let us find what is good in today. Look for the good.
Let us see the diligent road of Faith, increasing our strength and trust in Father God.
And then in this we shall find our framework God gives us to have Love, Hope, Faith, Joy, Encouragement, Peace, Dignity, Self-Esteem pleasing to God allowing Him to draw us to Your Holy Throne.
At the very Throne of God, we will find His Love and Mercy with His Grace. And here with joy we can rest our concerns, for the ones we Love and pray for. For our Nation again to find Joy in God and His Blessings. For our Communities and Churches to feel comfortable and unworried in themselves. And recall the joy of the decades to centuries we have been nourished in Jesus Christ. And be pleased for the people all over the world praying with us for our needs in Jesus Christ.
Help us that our speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that we may know how to answer everyone.
We shall see Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
and righteousness looks down from the sky.
Yes, Abba will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before Jesus
and His footsteps will make a way.
The Highest Name of Jesus be Praised. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves! †