Well, we have reached the last day in this study of the Book of Nehemiah – what did you think of it?
The next issue, for Sept/Oct 2007, is called ‘Tough Sayings from a Tender Heart’, “in this issue Selwyn looks at the hard sayings of Jesus, he shows that by ignoring them we end up with a form of Christianity that has little cutting edge and is devoid of power … ” I would say that’s a pretty good description of mainstream Christianity that we currently see in western culture.
Onto today’s study: “Nehemiah’s final reforms concerns mixed marriages, (Jewish men have married non-Jewish women). The enthusiastic Nehemiah soon completes his reforms and once again the people settle down to a period of peace and spiritual distinctiveness.”
The following is Selwyn’s summary of this entire study: “We see that without strong and capable spiritual leadership the people of God are like sheep without a shepherd. Moral and spiritual decline then soon sets in. To counteract this we must return to the Word of God, submit ourselves to its teaching, confess our failures and our shortcomings, and begin again to delight in obeying the commandments God has given us. Only then can we expect to be a people who reflect the glory of the Lord and bring honour to His name.”
It’s my view that many of the leaders of God’s people are too concerned with compromise with the world; there is a tendency to water-down the hard sayings of Jesus and the Bible in order to be more welcoming to non-Christians, in order to attract more people to their church. When people turned away and ceased to follow Jesus, he did not turnÂ to themÂ and say, ‘Well,Â dear friends, please don’t go Â -I really didn’t mean my words to sound so harsh and judgmental.’ No, He had His eyes firmly fixed on Jerusalem and the cross. He was even rude to His close friend Peter, when he said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan.’, which in whatever way you look at it – was a very abrupt statement. Yet, it was an act of love, He wanted to impress upon Peter that it was essential to follow God’s will; and, any other option or compromiseÂ could never beÂ acceptable.Â Even if following God’s will, results in your death – as was the case with Jesus; choosing a nice life healing people in Galilee with His close friends, was not an option. Satan is behind nice options when they divert your attention away from God. Do you agree?