Behind the scenes (Nehemiah 11-13; Psalm 126)

15 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. Nehemiah 13:13

Each of you have heard the familiar statement: “Life is not as it always seems.”  Many people find themselves seeking for success in life without really knowing all that is involved in the true success of a venture.  Maybe you are personally praying about something big that God has placed on your heart?  Please be aware of what goes on behind the scenes!!!

We see this being played out in the life of Nehemiah.  As the book draws to conclusion we read of the success story of a people who willingly move into the city of Jerusalem.  We see the names of the groups who say, “yes,” to the Lord.  We read of the “joy of Jerusalem” that was heard far away.”  We read of a people who hear the law and obey the law of God, 13:2.

Everything seems so awesome, and it is!!!  But it comes with a behind the scenes cost.  In chapter 13 we see 5 behind the scenes tough and costly moments for Nehemiah:

  • Nehemiah discovers the wicked Tobiah with a room in the temple, Vs: 4-8.  He has to drive him out.
  • Nehemiah discovers Levites who have not be cared for, Vs: 10-14.  He has to reestablish offerings.
  • Nehemiah discovers the city engaged in business on the Sabbath, Vs: 15-18.  He has to reestablish the Sabbath.
  • Nehemiah discovers intermarriage among the people, Vs: 23-27.  He has to reestablish religious separation.
  • Nehemiah discovers a corrupt priest, Vs: 28-29.  He has to remove him.

These are not easy behind the scenes duties.  But they are the duties given to those who want to see success in the call.  I wonder, “Why was Nehemiah willing to work behind the scenes?”  Here is the answer:

“Nehemiah was concerned for God’s glory, the spiritual health of his people, and God’s blessing on his people.”

Brothers and sisters, “this must be our heart behind the scenes.”

Psalm 126 brings this out so clearly:

Those who sow in tears
    shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping,
    bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
    bringing his sheaves with him.

This model was exemplified by Jesus as He walked among us.  The Apostle Paul placed this same behind the scenes wisdom before us in Ephesians 5:15-17

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Lord, May we each fear you in doing things the right way (13:14).  May we have reverence in your love (13:22).  Lead us to do what is pleasing in your sight (13:31).

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