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ZADOK PUBLICATIONS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
"Simon Says" Part 11
You may watch this Newsletter in a video HERE
"Simon Says" Part 11
Last month, we encountered several "directives" to the churches. We ended with a transitional affirmation.
1 Peter 4:19:
Therefore, let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
Committed souls in the hands of a faithful Creator become powerful spiritual instruments. If you are chosen to suffer under "God's will," then victory will be assured. Peter's life bore out that statement.
He began Chapter 5 with the topic of eldership.
1 Peter 5:1:
The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:
Peter's credentials are expressed in a moment!
1. He is a fellow elder.
2. He is an eye-witness to the suffering of Christ.
3. He is a partaker of the coming glory.
His Apostleship and his eldership qualified him to give directions concerning ministering to the body.
Just who are these elders? Are they Pastors or Deacons or special intermediaries?
The Bible says several things about the elder ranks. Early on, these spiritual instruments were chosen by the church leaders.
Eldership was not based on longevity of life—there are many old people in the church. Age does not propel one to eldership. Thousands of church members lack
spiritual understanding and would never be chosen for eldership. Who then does qualify?
They are those persons who walk with the Lord and are spiritually minded.
Acts 14:23: (When Paul & Barnabus headed to Derby the church sent elders with them.)
When they had appointed elders for them in every assembly, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
These elders were men or women of good report who were sent to assist the five-fold ministry. (Their counterparts might be the Temple chief priests and elders. Their elders cried "crucify." They sought to destroy the believers.) These elders sought to protect the church. Peter's eldership gave him the right to lead the three target churches into deeper understanding of their role.
When the Gentiles were saved and their inclusion had to be discerned, Apostles and elders were present. We are not told their names, but Paul mentions a few in his writings and Peter mentions Sylvanus.
Look now to I Timothy and Titus.
1 Timothy 5:17:
17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.
5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you…
Who are these elders? According to Hebrews they are men and women of faith.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
What are the duties of elders? They are defined in I Peter 5:2-4:
Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
Peter then exhorts his fellow elders and offers the following:
1.Shepherd the flock which is among you.
2.Serve as overseers and examples.
Many years ago, I heard this passage used to say, "were the church to veer off course, it is the elder's duty to correct its path." If any individual in the body needs correction or encouragement, it is the overseer's duty to go to that person and restore him or her.
Elders must themselves be sensitive to the needs of the flock.
1. They are to serve willingly.
2. They are not to serve for dishonest gain.
3. They are to serve eagerly.
4. They are not to "lord it over the flock."
5. They are to be examples of the faith.
Elders who are "flock minded" will sacrifice themselves for the safety of the Sheep and be aware of the Chief Shepherd's return. They will be found faithful and will be rewarded with a crown of glory which will never change.
Oh! How the church needs elders to take action today. They need to rise up and call for repentance and steer the church back to its primary goal, which is to advance the kingdom.
Out of these passages came the infamous Shepherding movement and "coverings."
Soon, a corruptive element manifested and man steered the flock in the wrong direction. (Clandestine groups formed and a manmade hierarchy appeared. Elders became life-dictators demanding their vision, even down to saying who could marry and to whom. "Their way or the highway" became their theme.
The sweet love of a brother or sister was substituted for rule and regulation.)
Peter was aware of the need to clarify the relationship of the sheep with their Shepherd. They were persons who emulated Christ and the many times Sheep and Shepherd were defined in the Word.
Simon brought up matters concerning individual sheep in order to return to the true purpose of Shepherd and sheep.
20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
…So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
With the true office of elder well defined, Peter cautioned the youth to maintain a respect and appreciation for those entrusted by the Apostles and planted in their domain.
The exact opposite is being promoted today. Young people strike their teachers and their parents. Huge numbers of riots and smash and go robberies are tolerated by officials, as society "looks the other way," instead of teaching their offspring the way of the Lord.
1 Peter 5:5-7:
5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for
"God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble."
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Being clothed in humility is a spiritual matter of so great a magnitude it should be
part of the educational curriculum for K-12 students and young adults.
Moving toward his final words to these saints, Simon incorporated one of the richest promises in the Bible. Casting one's cares on the Son of God, then not taking them back, requires faith. This action reflects some of the spiritual depth found in this epistle.
Complete dependance on God by "Casting one's cares on Him" must be a daily
exercise as is "Be careful for nothing, but in all things through prayer, supplications with thanksgiving make your requests be made known to God
and the God of peace will guard your mind and heart through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6,7)."
Peter then addresses several random issues.
1 Peter 5:8-9:
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
We are to resist the devil. This sounds simple, but it is not. This is a worldwide
problem, and it requires steadfast faith and being aware that this is a universal assault. Sobriety and vigilance are defensive actions against such an enemy of stealth.
1 Peter 5:10-11:
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
The God of all grace has called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus. As marvelous as this is, there are few who live "in the glory" on earth. (see "Called to be Saints," my book on holy living.)
A rich promise is given by Simon; after suffering for Christ, you will be:
No matter how much chaos surrounds you or disarray lies at your feet, these four factors assure your victory.
1 Peter 5:12-14:
12 By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.
There are many definitions of grace; there are multiple variances of belief concerning grace and what it covers. But true grace has unfathomable depth.
(see the book Double Grace.)
13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.
Peace (Shalom) to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Have a good Christmas and blessed New Year,
Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.
From: Robert & Mary Grindley
P.O. Box 2487
Office: 011 267 261 1746 (Landline)
Cell: 011 267 7421 8210 (Rob)
011 267 7285 5461 (Mary)
P.O. Box 432
Lunenburg, MA 01462
Office: 978 400 7285
Cell: 978 549 7436
Recently, Botswana Missionary, Robert Grindley, visited with Dr. Oliver in the Oliver Home. Short-term Missionary, Tommy Meche of Elim Church was his "Uber Driver" for this visit. Many of you remember Missionary Grindley from the projects your gifts have helped fund.
Left: Tommy Meche - Center: Robert Grindley - Right: Dr. C. R. Oliver
Over the last several years, Oliver Evangelistic Association (OEA) purchased the roof for one of Botswana Children's Homes and also helped with the completion of the orphanage. Later, you helped purchase solar power to supply power to the total orphanage complex as well as other buildings on the compound.
When the ministry was in need of a truck, OEA purchased and repaired a used truck for evangelism ministry and also purchased sound equipment for outreach ministry.
Last year, OEA completed a Revival Tabernacle in Botswana on land purchased by OEA earlier.
1. Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, the monthly newsletter will use a smaller format.
2. Jim's Jewel's will cease as a monthly installment. Jim graciously will continue by sending the study to anyone who will contact him via the internet. Contact Jim McCants at: email@example.com. Jim has been a faithful friend for a long time, and he will bless you and minister to all who contact him.
3. The smaller format will include a Bible Study and only our mission activity with contact information by country.
Thank you for being faithful in giving and reading our Bible Studies.
From: Jim McCants
Jim's Jewels is a walk throughout Scripture with an eye toward the Promises of God. Jim McCants, at my request, took on the task of seeking out both obvious and hidden promises.
Below are his promises in Nehemiah.
The book starts off with Nehemiah's supplication and prayer to
God with him asking God to remember HIS Word.
Nehemiah 1:5-11 5 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:
6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.
7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.
8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:
9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.
10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.
11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.
And God answers!
Nehemiah 2:4-9 4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.
6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
7 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;
8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
9 Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.
Nehemiah trusts God!
Nehemiah 2:20 20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.
Nehemiah asks for their reproach to upon their heads.
Nehemiah 4:4-6 4 Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity:
5 And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.
6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
Nehemiah does not do as other governors had done, but believed God for all that he needed!
Nehemiah 5:15-19 15 But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.
16 Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants were gathered thither unto the work.
17 Moreover there were at my table an hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers, beside those that came unto us from among the heathen that are about us.
18 Now that which was prepared for me daily was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this required not I the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people.
19 Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.
Nehemiah asks for strength and asks God to remember Tobiah and Sanballat!
Nehemiah 6:9-14 9 For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.
10 Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.
11 And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.
12 And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
13 Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.
14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.
Ezra reads the Book, the people understand and rejoice!
God has answered Nehemiah's prayer!
Nehemiah 8:5-12 5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:
6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
7 Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.
8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.
12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.
This they did and this is what this country needs to do!
Nehemiah 9:1-38 1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.
2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.
3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God.
4 Then stood up upon the stairs, of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto the LORD their God.
5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.
6 Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.
7 Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;
8 And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous:
9 And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea;
10 And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day.
11 And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters.
12 Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go.
13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:
14 And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:
15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.
16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments,
17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.
18 Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations;
19 Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go.
20 Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.
21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.
22 Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan.
23 Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.
24 So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would.
25 And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness.
26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.
27 Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.
28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies;
29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.
30 Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.
31 Nevertheless for thy great mercies' sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.
32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day.
33 Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:
34 Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.
35 For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works.
36 Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it:
37 And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.
38 And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.
And for all their oaths and declarations, they still did not obey!
Nehemiah 10:29-39 29 They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes;
30 And that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons:
31 And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.
32 Also we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God;
33 For the shewbread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God.
34 And we cast the lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, after the houses of our fathers, at times appointed year by year, to burn upon the altar of the LORD our God, as it is written in the law:
35 And to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, unto the house of the LORD:
36 Also the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our God:
37 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.
38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.
39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.
On the day of deducation.
Nehemiah 12:40 40 So stood the two companies of them that gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and the half of the rulers with me:
God turns cursing into blessings!
Nehemiah 13:1-2 1 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever;
2 Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing.
Nehemiah cleans house!
Nehemiah 13:3-11 3 Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.
4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:
5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.
6 But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king:
7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.
8 And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.
9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.
10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.
11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.
Nehemiah 13:14-31 14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof.
15 In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.
16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.
17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?
18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.
19 And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.
20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.
21 Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.
22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.
23 In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:
24 And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people.
25 And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.
26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.
27 Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives?
28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.
29 Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.
30 Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business;
31 And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.
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