Nehemiah 13



Today we come to the final Chapter in the book of Nehemiah and our final study in the book.

A) Recall What have we seen in the last couple of Chapters? –


B) In Chapter 10 we saw the people re-establish their commitments to the Lord


Promised not the inter marry ! { other nations

They Promised to not do Business on the Sabbath –

They promised to give their first fruits to support  the work of God  

And they promised to not Neglect the house of God


C) That was Chapter 10 – In Chapter 11 – they re-populate the city

1) And then in Chapter 12 they Dedicate the wall – Huge Celebration with singing and worship and Rejoicing - 


D) I wish the book ended right there ! Great Climax !


Been said – it is not how high you jump – but rather how straight you walk when you come down – that is what matters

A) What we find in Ch. 13 is that the people are not walking straight at all !


B) In fact every promise they made in Chapter 10 they have broken by Chapter 13 –


C) Here is the scene – after the great celebration in Chapter 12 – Nehemiah has to go back to Persia to fulfill his commitment to King Artx.

1) We are not sure how long he is gone – at least a few yrs – some have suggested it is possible he was gone as much as 10 yrs


D) Ch.13 is the account of what takes place when he gets back – Rd v. 1-7


1st Problem: Tobiah is in the temple!

A) Remember Tobiah – He was one of Nehemiah’s main enemies -


B) When Nehemiah comes back, he sees that Eliashib the priest had entered into agreements with Tobiah.


C) This cozy alliance led to an invitation for Tobiah to actually move into the temple itself.

1) To make room for him the high priest took the storerooms that was set apart for the grain, oil and incense & gave them to Tobiah to live in.


D) So there were two wrongs involved. An Ammonite and his family were actually living in the temple of God, contrary to the Law of Moses;


E) And second, in order to permit that they had deliberately defrauded the Levites of their rights of storage.


This story is a good illustration of how the enemy works

A) First he wants to form an alliance – a friendship – he wants you to let down your guard – get comfortable with him


B) Then he wants to occupy a place in your life that was intended for God and God alone-


C) The enemy was Living in the temple – Your body is called the temple of the HS –

1) What Tobiah has wormed his way into the center of your life and comfortably sits there enthroned where the Lord Jesus ought to be ?


D) What Stuff is cluttering up the temple that the HS ought to fill in your heart –



Notice how  Nehemiah dealt with this one?  Rd v.8-9

8 And it grieved me bitterly; therefore I threw all the household goods of Tobiah out of the room.9 Then I commanded them to cleanse the rooms; and I brought back into them the articles of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.



Nehemiah dealt with this compromise Head on !

A) He throws Tobiah out of the temple and all of his stuff and has the place Fumigated


B) How do you deal with Sin and Compromise in Your Life ?


C) Ignore sin – pretend that everything is ok – not a problem – not an issue – I will take care of it later.


D)  Rationalize it away. Not that bad – A lot less of a compromise than what I was doing before

1) Or Compared to those guys – I am a saint –


Story of  2 Brothers who were two very rotten individuals /  they were the cause of much of the crime in that area

Prostitutes / gambling / you name it they had a part in it

          Result they had become very wealthy -


C) The older of the two brothers was killed in an auto accident - and his younger brother wanted to have a nice funeral for his brother ( who do it?)

1)  So he approached a pastor of one of the local churches / this particular Pastor had a church / building was in need of a lot of repairs


D) Congregation was growing & really they needed a new facility / So this younger brother said to the Pastor

I see you are in need of a new facility / make a deal / You perform my brothers funeral & tell the people in this town my bro . was a saint


E) I will give you 2 million dollars / you can build a new building !

1) Pastor thought for a moment - looked at Cross hanging / building / then at the brother / grin on face I’ll do it one condition - Check now !


The day of the funeral came - place was packed people wanted to see what this pastor was going to say about this guy !

A)  Pastor began - This guy was a dirty rotten scoundrel - who caused this community nothing but trouble / but compared to his younger brother – saint


Some people rationalize their sin that way – Compared to that guy – I would say that I am doing pretty good

A) Listen that guy is not the comparison!


B) Problem is that guy over there – that gal down the street is not who we are to be comparing ourselves with!


C) Our Standard is Jesus – Our model is the word of God


D) Some people Ignore sin / Others rationalize their sin – Still others make excuses for their sin – I just can’t help it – I have this problem

1) Sex addicts –


Listen to the words of Jesus in Remember what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount: Matt 5:29-30

.29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.


A) Was Jesus being serious – Really cut off my hand and pluck out my eye! – Yes and no –

1)Yes in the sense that – if a guy can’t stop looking at pornography it would be better for him to be blind than – to go to hell


B) What Jesus is saying is there are times when we have to take radical measures in dealing with sin ! -


C) Take action. Do not allow these evil things to remain. Even if it takes painful effort to do so, end it!

1) If you have allowed your heart to be involved with something that is evil and it is painful to give it up -- you must give it up.


D) That is what Jesus is saying. Bear the pain and stand firm.

1) That is what Nehemiah does here – He runs the risk of being hated by the people – But he does what is right in the eyes of the Lord


E) Nehemiah did that because he would not live with WRONG ( Tobias’s evil) in a place that was made for RIGHT

1) So Nehemiah throws Tobiah out of the Temple and all of his stuff –

     Then He has the rooms fumigated


     Jesus cleanses the temple


Listen if you want God’s best for you – if you want to experience all that God has for you the Tobiah's in your life need to be firmly and swiftly dealt with

A) Commercials – Computers thrown out window – Porn – maybe you need to do that { Games on line – Porn -  Safe guards – 29 dollars


B) TV’s unplugged and given a away TB –


C) Friendships that just need to end – Me and TF


There were two ladies who were neighbors – the one was a Christian & the other wasn’t although she was religious – intrigued by her Christian friend

A) Well the Christian lady was having a ladies bible study at her house and she invited her unsaved friend – but she declined –


B) The day after the meeting the unsaved friend asked how it went –

1) Wonderful – We had 31 ladies come – house was full – You should come next week –  Once again she declined


C) After the 2nd meeting – once again she asked – How was the meeting

1) Great – we had 48 women house was full - …….. come next time ….. declined once more


D) After the 3rd meeting- Asked again – This time house was full again we had 61 ladies – How ?   Each time house was full – doubled – how

1) Well We took on the Furniture into the back yard so we could fit everyone into the house


How much room is there in your heart for the Lord?

A)What needs to be removed so that – Jesus has more of a chance to reign – have his way ?


B) So that was the first problem that Nehemiah dealt with –


C)  what was the 2nd?-   Well They had neglected the house of God                   RD V.10-14

10 I also realized that the portions for the Levites had not been given them; for each of the Levites and the singers who did the work had gone back to his field.11 So I contended with the rulers, and said,” Why is the house of God forsaken?"


D) This was the very thing they had promised not to do – Neglect God’s house but that is exactly what they did.

v.11b And I gathered them together and set them in their place.12 Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the storehouse.13 And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouse Shelemiah the priest and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah; and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah; for they were considered faithful, and their task was to distribute to their brethren.


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 its services!


A) When Nehemiah comes back he finds that the people have done the very thing that they promised not to – they neglected – the house of God


B) The Levites are out working in the fields because they were not being supported – So they were out there harvesting their food

1) Thankful to those of you who support this ministry – Imagine the building closed down – decaying – broken down

C) What happens here on Sundays and Wed is a very small part of what happens in this Church - 


D) Nehemiah contended with the RULERS – See were the leaders

1) Contended = to struggle / to battle : Nehemiah went to battle – over this –


Learn from this that in correcting problems it is good to face problems head on

A) But it is also good to work toward a permanent correction –


B) Anyone can point out what is wrong – But give me someone who has an idea of how to make it right


C) Nehemiah comes up with a plan to get the people back on track – giving again !



Now you might be thinking – Nehemiah is getting radical here – He is throwing out all of Tobiah’s stuff

A) He is contending with the rulers because they have neglected God’s house


B) Haven’t seen anything yet. Pick it up in v. 15 -16


C)  The next Problem he comes upon is that the people are working on the Sabbath –

1) they are doing Business on this day that was to be set aside for God

C) So what does Nehemiah do?  V.17- 22(Nobles – another group of Leaders)


17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, "What evil thing is this that you do, by which you profane the Sabbath day? 18 Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath."


19 So it was, at the gates of Jerusalem, as it began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I commanded the gates to be shut, and charged that they must not be opened till after the Sabbath. Then I posted some of my servants at the gates, so that no burdens would be brought in on the Sabbath day.20 Now the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice.


21 Then I warned them, and said to them, "Why do you spend the night around the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you!" From that time on they came no more on the Sabbath.22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should go and guard the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day.

Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Your mercy!


Nehemiah again gets radical here – Close the gates on the Sabbath – set guards –

A) Not even going to let the merchants in here


B) Profaning God’s day !


C) Imagine the merchants who were fisherman – show up with all their fish

1) Smell – going to spoil –


D) These guys decide to wait it out – temptation by the wall

1) Nehemiah says – Don’t leave I am going to lay hands on you – not talking to pray for HS baptism.


Nehemiah was getting aggressive – He was saying look – if you are going to stay here and tempt God’s people to sin – I will Knock your block off

A) I will deal with you physically.


B) Sometimes that is what is needed/ be that strong !


C) Nehemiah is a type of the HS – Sometimes the HS has to get aggressive with us –

1)    Get our attention –


You are thinking – This guy Nehemiah seems out of control – It gets better

A) Last Problem – Inter marriage v. 23-24


23 In those days I also saw Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab.24 And half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and could not speak the language of Judah, but spoke according to the language of one or the other people.


How does he deal with this one –  RD v. 25-31

A) This once again show the seriousness of the Lord’s dealing with sin


B) Nehemiah is pulling out his hair- 

1) Imagine – Show up at your house –


C) This sin was serious { Pagan women

1) Down fall of many a man – Samson


D) His example of Solomon is well taken (Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? . . . pagan women caused even him to sin).


E) If Solomon, one of the wisest and most blessed men ever, sinned with unwise and ungodly romance, do we think we are invulnerable to it?



1st Some things are worth fighting for!

A) My Mom – late nights – fought on her Knees


B) Nehemiah – followed every action with Prayer

1) No doubt – praying all the way thru


C) Interesting Ezra faced this same problem yrs before { Turn Ezra 9 – His own hair


Lesson #2 – There are different ways to minister.

A) JC & SH


This story also reminds us that the actions of the HS are sometimes Severe

A) Uzziah – Lepor

      Jacob a cripple


B) Nadab & Abihu – Dead


C) Annaias & Saphira


Question: How far will the HS have to go in your life before you surrender –

A) What is going to have to die or get broken before you – let go – before you surrender