The story of Nehemiah continues but there is an underlying theme that is a bit troublesome to me. As he tells the story we see interjected throughout this request by Nehemiah: “Remember me with favor, O my God.” He tells of this story not so much to historically account for it, but rather to build up a repertoire of good deeds that he can show to God that he has been faithful and has done the right thing before the eyes of God so that God can reward him. Not such an innocent account as maybe we had originally thought.
But this is where we find ourselves. The walls have been built up, the people are gathered to gether and the temple is rededicated again as the law is being read day and night. What a great image. One time we read the Bible I think for 3 days straight and it was quite a feat and the people who were involved were grateful for the opportunity. I’m thinking we should do it again.
Nehemiah does return to Babylon, as he promised the king that he would, and then he returns again as we read in chapter 13. On his return he finds he has to tweak a few things that were out of order. Someone had taken up shop in the temple, so he had to kick him out. And the Levites who served the temple were not being taken care of and so were not able to survive so they had left the temple and gone to some outer towns in order to farm and survive. Nehemiah remedied that and brought them back in and made sure that the people took care of them while they took care of the temple.