An interesting demographic reality was playing out in Jerusalem: “Now the leaders of the people lived in Jerusalem. And the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to live in Jerusalem the holy city, while nine out of ten remained in the other towns. And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered to live in Jerusalem” (11:1-2). Chapters 11 and 12 provide the names of those who moved to Jerusalem. While all this was happening, Nehemiah was away only to return to hear the news that Tobiah had arranged for the things of God to be removed from the house of God so that he could establish his own personal lodging space. Nehemiah was not happy: “I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the chamber” (13:8). Nehemiah also brought back the things of God. Now, all this was happening after so great a work had been blessed by God and finished. This situation serves as a good reminder that, from one generation to the next, indeed, from year to year, we must resolve to watch ourselves and all we do, that we are living as God would have us to do. In fact, it’s a daily thing, joyfully watching and striving every moment to please our God.
While we pray for pard’ning grace
through the dear Redeemer's name,
show thy reconciled face;
take away our sin and shame;
from our earthly cares set free,
may we rest this day in thee. -- John Newton (1774)