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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

May 29, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again


Daily Reading: Nehemiah 12-13

 

Nehemiah 13:31

And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.

 

“The entire Bible was not written to you, but the entire Bible was written for you.”  Memory does not allow the preacher’s name that said this, but it was said in a Bible college class. It is a true statement that is well worth remembering. The book of Nehemiah is a perfect example. The book was originally written to chronicle Nehemiah’s work in Jerusalem. More importantly it was needed to re-establish proper temple worship under the ministry of the priests that fulfilled the requirements put forth in the law of Moses, the Law of God.

 

In this book there are several wonderful nuggets of truth, of encouragement, of warning, and of leadership qualities for all people of all eras to learn from and carry on. Consider this: the books of I and II Corinthians were not written to our churches today, they were written to the church at Corinth. But, being inspired by God, and preserved for perpetuity, every New Testament church in the “church age” can learn from them. The same is true with all books of the Bible. They may not have been written to us, but they were written and put into the canon of Scripture (the Bible) for us.

 

One nugget is found several times in the book of Nehemiah. In the very last verse of the book Nehemiah mentions two offerings to God, the wood offering, and the firstfruits. Without Nehemiah’s oversight, leadership, management, determination, and fidelity to the laws of God, these offerings may very well have been continually overlooked. This thought could be extended to the walls. Would they have been rebuilt without Nehemiah? Or the cleansing of the temple? Or any of the other tasks that this man took upon himself to fulfill?

 

For these good works, even great works, Nehemiah asked the Lord to …Remember me, O my God, for good. He, knowing his countrymen as he did, probably knew that his only reward for his good work would come from the Lord. It was first and foremost for the Lord, and the people of his country that Nehemiah undertook such an enormous task. It’s an amazing request, really, to ask the Lord to remember him for the work he did. It’s a request that fulfilled a human need. After all, humans need to be rewarded for their work. Else why would they work?

 

Nehemiah wanted to be remembered for his work by the One for whom the work was performed. This was not the first time this man requested such. In 13:22 it is recorded …Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy. In 13:14 …Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof. Also all the way back in 5:19 Nehemiah prayed …Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people. 

 

Some may think that Nehemiah was pompous or presumptuous in making these requests to God, probably because they, themselves, cannot pray these prayers for they have never even tried to accomplish and complete anything worthy of the Lord’s remembrance, or honor. Our golden nugget for today? If we are to ask God to remember us for our work for Him, we must first perform a work for Him.

 

Dr. William T. Howe

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