Scripture: Nehemiah 13:4-5
Now prior to this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, being related to Tobiah, had prepared a large room for him, where formerly they put the grain offerings, the frankincense, the utensils and the tithes of grain, wine and oil prescribed for the Levites, the singers and the gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests.
Insights: The point headings this week are not original to me. I wish they were. They actually come from Chuck Swindoll in his book Hand Me Another Brick. Also this week all the verses that apply to each point will not be listed, but rather the key verse or a couple of verses. For example today’s point really is covered in verses four through nine. Today we see relationships that were compromised among the people of Israel. We are told about Eliashib who is over the rooms in the temple and his families marital relationship with Tobiah. Do not forget that Tobiah is not an Israelite. He is a pagan and has been a thorn in Nehemiah’s side from day one. He is the villain of this historical account of God’s redemptive work. What specifically has taken place is Tobiah has taken up residency in the temple. Non-Jewish people were not even to be in the temple let alone live there. When Nehemiah returned from Susa he finds this wickedness taking place and he throws Tobiah out of the temple. He then fumigates the place and cleanses it and makes it ready for the use of God. Here is the point, Beloved, we must constantly guard ourselves against compromised relationships. Our relationships do help determine our character. In other words, we do become like the people with whom we hang out. It is for this reason Paul made the statement, “Bad company corrupts good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33).” Now this does not mean that we just dump our lost friends because they are bad company, but it does mean we intentionally alter the relationship where they do not have the influence on us as they once did. We need to be proactive about sharing the love of Jesus with them and pray they come into a saving relationship with Jesus. As a result of this altered relationship, we may have to stop doing some things with them that we once did. Cultivate relationships with people who are strong in their faith with the Lord God and you will be molded more into the image of Jesus. Guard your relationships.
- What relationships do you have that are unhealthy and need to be ended?
- Who out there is a faith-filled individual with whom you need to start cultivating a relationship?
Prayer: Father, You care about every relationship I have and You know what is best for me. Help me to trust You so that my life will be the healthiest it can be and bring You the most glory. Amen.