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The Fury of a Godly Soul

Rev. Enoch Thompson | January 19, 2024 | Nehemiah 13:23-27

 



KEY VERSE:

I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath in God's name and said: "You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves. Nehemiah 13:25-26 (NIV)

 

MESSAGE:

In our text today Nehemiah confronts Israelite men who had married foreign women, contrary to the Law of the Lord, and in contravention of the oath they had sealed before the Lord. Once again Nehemiah stands to oppose the waywardness of Israel. We must not stop standing against evil because we are in the minority or because people continue to go in the wrong direction in spite of our efforts.

 

Nehemiah, in his response to this sin of Israel, is reminded of how the blessed wise King Solomon of Israel was led astray by his marriage alliances with foreign women. Once again, the lesson of history has been thrown to the wind by the Israelites. Seeing that his countrymen cannot see the obvious danger into which they are driving themselves Nehemiah is driven to a furious response to their stubborn sinfulness: “I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath in God's name and said: "You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves.” Nehemiah 13:25-26 (NIV).

 

Alright, I know the Pastor who is driven to such responses will for a long time be in the news and would go viral, apart from the danger of losing his or her job. But we are reminded of the response of the Saviour Himself when in human flesh He observed the desecration of the Temple by insensitive people, insensitive to God and insensitive to God’s plan to have the Gentiles join in worshipping Him (John 3:13-17). Remember, when we are not moved to actively oppose sin in our environment then there may be something seriously wrong with our moral thermometer.

 

FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE: 

Is there sin going on around you, in your immediate space of home, workplace or church? What do you feel about it, and what are you willing to do about it? What checks does the Bible place on us in Galatians 6:1-5 as we consider the fury of a godly soul? Pray for wisdom to measure your responses to wrongdoing around you.

 

PRAYER:

Lord, please help me to feel uncomfortable with sin enough to speak up and take the action within my power to correct it. Please give me the wisdom also to act in manners that will glorify you and redeem the offenders, For your dear Name’s sake, Amen.

 

THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING.

SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!!

 

DAILY word study: CURSES In Nehemiah 13:25-26, the term 'curses' is derived from the Hebrew word "אָלָה" (alah), which signifies a divine pronouncement of calamity or judgment. Throughout the Bible, curses are often linked to disobedience or the violation of God's commands.


Biblical usage reveals that curses are not arbitrary punishments but rather consequences resulting from a breach of the covenant between God and His people. In Deuteronomy 28, for instance, a comprehensive list of blessings and curses is presented based on adherence or disobedience to God's laws. Here, curses are depicted as a natural outcome of turning away from God's guidance.


In Nehemiah's context, curses are employed as a disciplinary measure. The people were reprimanded for intermarrying with foreigners, a practice explicitly forbidden in the Mosaic law. The curses pronounced by Nehemiah are a reflection of the seriousness of maintaining the purity of worship and allegiance to God's commandments. This usage underscores the principle that God's commands are not arbitrary rules but guidelines for a life in harmony with His divine order. The curses serve as warnings, urging the people to return to a right relationship with God. The term 'curses' in Nehemiah 13:25-26 reflects a biblical pattern where divine consequences follow disobedience. It emphasizes the importance of aligning our lives with God's commands and serves as a call to repentance and restoration.


Reflections:

Reflectively, we can ponder on the enduring relevance of this principle. Are there areas in our lives where we've deviated from God's commands, inviting unintended consequences? The study of curses prompts us to realign our lives with God's principles, seeking His mercy and restoration.


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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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