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Torah Meditations – From Nehemiah – July 11, 2020

          Is the Lord re-focusing our attention in these crazy times we are living in? Nehemiah also lived in times of stress and uncertainty, so it is very interesting to look at what was important to him. The verses we will look at today reveal a man who is not concerned with earthly possessions, but is very concerned about the Lord remembering him for his good works.  Is our attention focused on our desire for the Lord to remember our good works?  Is this our goal?

 Nehemiah 13:14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God and for his service.

1. What did Nehemiah want G-d to remember him for?

 Nehemiah 13:15,16 In those days I saw in Judah people treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys, and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them on the day when they sold food. Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of goods and sold them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah, in Jerusalem itself! 

2. Why was Nehemiah warning people? 

Nehemiah 13:17,18 Then I confronted the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Now you are bringing more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”

3. Who was Nehemiah confronting? Are they remembering WHY they were captives in Babylon? Which three words state Nehemiah’s big concern?

 Nehemiah 13:19 As soon as it began to grow dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I stationed some of my servants at the gates, that no load might be brought in on the Sabbath day. 

4. Did Nehemiah just talk about the problem? What actions did he take? What do we learn from Nehamiah?

Nehemiah 13:20-22 Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. But I warned them and said to them, “Why do you lodge outside the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the Sabbath. Then I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the Sabbath day holy

5. What additional actions did Nehemiah have to take?

 The final sentence of this verse says:

Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.

**What are we doing for God that we want Him to remember us for?**

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