A Voice in the
Wilderness

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Re: One Example of Weeding (Nehemiah 13)

"So it was, when they had heard the Law, that they separated all the 
mixed multitude from Israel....In those days I also saw Jews who had 
married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. And half of their children 
spoke the language of Ashdod, and could not speak the Jewish language, 
but according to the tongue of nation to nation. So I contended with 
them and cursed them, struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and 
made them swear by God, saying, You shall not give your daughters to 
their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons, or for yourselves. 
Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many 
nations there was no king like him, who was beloved of his God; and God 
made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless foreign women caused even 
him to sin. Should we then hear of your doing all this great evil, 
acting treacherously against our God by marrying foreign women? And one 
of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was 
son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite; therefore I drove him from me. 
Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood and 
the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites. Thus I cleansed them 
of everything foreign." (vs3,23-30)

Well...this passage pretty much tells the story. We could easily just 
close this study here. The Word speaks for itself.

What is the situation? Who are these being spoken of? They are Israel's 
remnant, back in the land, after 70 years of exile in Babylon. Nehemiah 
is acting as governor, to get the walls of Jerusalem built back up and 
repaired.

Why had Israel been exiled? For intermixing with the heathen around them 
and taking on and embracing their idolatry. And now that they have 
experienced God's punishment, and are being restored, what are they 
doing? THE SAME THING!  

THEY DID NOT LEARN!

What does Nehemiah do? Send out flyers and door-stuffers, inviting all 
the surrounding pagans "to church"?  NO! The Israelis who have been 
doing this, what does Nehemiah do to them? Physically knocks them 
around, hits them, pulls their hair, gets in-their-face and yells at 
them. Getting their attention! Not very "loving" at all, nor "tolerant" 
is he! 'WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU?? ARE YOU-ALL BRAIN-DEAD?? 
DON'T YOU REMEMBER WHY WE ARE IN THIS PREDICAMENT? HOW 
SOLOMON STARTED US DOWN THIS TRACK? AND YOU WANT TO 
CONTINUE IT?' The same sort of vehemence by which Jesus chased 
the unclean out of the temple with a rope whip: 
GET THESE THINGS OUTTA HERE...YOU THIEVES! (Jn2:15, Lk19:45-46)

And what is Nehemiah's prayer to God for his vigilance? "Remember me, O 
my God, for good!" (vs31)

You see, it is because God's Law is -different- from the world. Haman's 
argument to King Ahasuerus about the Jews was, "their laws are different 
from all other peopleís" (Est3:8)

But Israel was doing just as the so-called "church" does today. In fact, 
they were worse than the world (Eze5:6)...just like today's "church" is. 
A subscriber was sharing his recent shopping trip, going from place to 
place, looking for truly [C]hristian materials at "christian" 
bookstores. Pretty much all he found was 'garbage' of all shapes and 
sizes, wherever he went. But when he went to one store that was 
"catholic", he noticed that -all- they carried was things related to 
"catholicism". Navajo are exclusive in their worship rituals. Mormons do 
not allow non-mormons into their inner sanctuaries. But that which is 
called "christian" is accepting of anything-and-everything. The 
so-called "church" takes bits and pieces from here and there, and stirs 
it all up in the pot, and they all partake. Any talk of exclusivity is 
rejected as being "judgmental".

Remember, it was the pagan Haman who observed that God's Laws are 
different, due to the faithful witness of one man, Mordecai. Nehemiah, 
in faithfulness to God, slapped some people around a bit to get them to 
purge out the heathen from their midst. 

And what does the psalmist say to Israel, if they desire God's favor? 
Something terribly NON-family-values oriented. Jesus said that a person 
desiring to follow Him must leave behind father, mother, sister, 
brother, wife...take up the cross, and follow. (Mt10:34-39, Lk14:26-27) 

The psalmist says: "Listen, O daughter, consider and extend your ear; 
forget your own people also, and your fatherís house. Thus the King 
shall greatly long for your beauty, for He is your Lord; bow down before 
Him." (Ps45:10-11)

Oh but, you see, there are two strikes against contemporary 
"christianity" here with those words. First of all, FORGET YOUR OWN 
PEOPLE..?? In other words, like the couple that is married, to become 
"one", the command is to "leave father and mother". (Gen2:24) Don't let 
the in-laws continue waltzing in through the door any ol' time they feel 
like it. Until we come to God, our family has been the world; the world 
of our old sin nature. We must repudiate and forsake that past. It is 
only then that the King (the Lord) will accept us.

And then notice: "bow down before Him". No... we do not come -proudly- 
with heads held high in self-esteem and self-worth to "worship" to 
fulfill our own presumed emotional needs of spiritual orgasms. But we 
come to Him in humility, having humbled ourselves. (Jac4:10, 1Pt5:6)

For those who have taken heed to this, notice:

"The kingís daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is plaited 
with gold. She shall be brought to the King in clothing of needlework; 
the virgins, her companions who follow, shall be brought to You. They 
shall be brought with gladness and rejoicing; they shall enter into the 
Kingís palace." (Ps45:13-15)

Amen!
Q/A -How to "Weed out" the unbelievers?