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Saturday, July 18 2009
The 11th chapter of Nehemiah reveals to us some of the governmental policies that Nehemiah had to enact to populate the city of Jerusalem.  In the first two verses, it reveals that there were those that willingly moved to the city, but there were many that chose to live in the outlying villages.  The Life Study Bible gives a few reasons why there were those that did not want to move to Jerusalem...

  1. non-Jews attached a stigma to Jerusalem residents, often excluding them from trade because of their religious beliefs
  2. moving into the city meant rebuilding their homes and reestablishing their businesses, a major investment of time and money
  3. living in Jerusalem required stricter obedience to God's Word because of the greater social pressure and proximity to the Temple 
It is the third reason that disturbs me.  We should want to be as close to the presence of God as humanly possible.  It should be our desire to be near Him at all times.  Our lives should center around Him and His purpose while reaching to those that may not know Him.

Nehemiah needed to populate the city and therefore enacted a policy to cast lots forcing a certain number of the population to move into Jerusalem.  It appears that Nehemiah was a fair leader with a "big picture" mentality.  He was a visionary that understood that sometimes we must act as leaders and make some tough decisions. 
Posted by: Pastor Robert P. Eaby, Jr. AT 09:37 am   |  Permalink   |  Email