Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for May 26, Neh 7

Today's reading is Neh 7.

Neh 7 depicts the city secure with Hanani in charge of keeping it safe. Aware that there have been those who have opposed the rebuilding, Nehemiah advises caution about when the gates are opened and who should man them (Neh 7:2-3).

Nehemiah has consistently demonstrated that God’s people are to be compassionate, trusting, and gentle but wise and cautious at the same time.

We see that Jerusalem is underpopulated (Neh 7:4), probably because they city suffered the most casualties in the siege leading up to the exile. The houses inside the walls have not been rebuilt yet. The people have been obedient in their work on the walls and temple, placing God’s work at a higher priority than their own needs.

Nehemiah consults the genealogies of the returning exiles starting with the first wave led by Zerubbabel. He will use them to apportion the land to its rightful owners and establish the priesthood and servers in the temple (Neh 7:5-65). When the people are organized, the entire nation makes donations to the ministry (Neh 7:73).

These genealogies help us to understand that the people involved can be located at a specific time and place in history. They show that God’s word is verifiable, not merely conceptual. They also reveal continuity. Most of the families mentioned in chapter seven are from Judah and Benjamin. We see God’s faithfulness to His promise to preserve the line of David.

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