Read Nehemiah 11
The Holy City — Jerusalem, the political capital of the kingdom, the city of David, the center of worship — is nearly empty. Only the leaders live there (Neh. 11:1). Lots are cast to repopulate the city. See the list of "Who's Who" in Jerusalem (chap. 11), and the returning priests and Levites (chap. 12).
Jerusalem is the only city on earth called by God the holy city (Neh. 11:18), the city where our Creator chose to put His Name. Because Jerusalem still lay in ruins and was not a trading center, there was much less opportunity to make money near a main thoroughfare such as Beersheba, and in the villages thereof (11:27). After Nehemiah convinced the people to return to putting God first in their lives, they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off (12:43). Most people then and still today seek their own wealth, pleasure, and safety rather than the advancement of God and His Church.
Just as the Lord called His people out of Babylon (Persia) to forsake personal gain, to rebuild Jerusalem, and to be free to worship Him, so our Lord and Savior has called us to seek . . . first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things (necessities of life) shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33). Yet, still today far too many Christians are not seeking first the Kingdom of God.
As Christians, our first concern in life should be to let the world know more about the One True God and eternal life as His Word says. Jesus said that the majority of people are on a broad . . . way, that leadeth to destruction (7:13). Our Lord has appointed us to let everyone on the broad way know they will soon be cast into outer darkness, torment, and eternal hell (8:12; 22:13). Yet, there are millions who have never been told that, unless they let Christ be their Savior and Lord of their lives, they will be eternally lost.
Just as it is today, there were only a few who willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem (Neh. 11:1-2). Today's few willingly commit their lives to the Kingdom of God and postpone their personal interests for the best interest of the Lord their God.
Do you think for the past 2,000 years Paul has regretted missing a few luxuries and comforts for his service to Christ? It takes faith to live by the principle of those who willingly offered themselves (Neh. 11:1-2).
Thought for Today:
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it (Mal. 3:10).
By the priests and Levites who purified (sanctified) themselves and the people (Neh. 12:30). Christ our High Priest, through His perfect sacrifice, purified His believers by His Word. Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you (John 15:3; 17:17).
11:16 outward business external business of the Temple; 11:24 was at the king's hand has advisor, administrator of the king; 12:44 that waited who officiated, ministered, kept the watches.
Pray for Government Officials: Gov. Brad Henry (OK) and Rep. Lynn Jenkins (KS) • Country: Kuwait (2 million) in the northeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula • Major languages: Arabic and English • Some religious freedom • 95% Muslim; 4% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Intercede for others (Ex. 32:31-32).
Memory Verse for the Week: