Pastor Tim Romero
Nehemiah 13:6–8 (ESV): "6 While this was taking place, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I went to the king. And after some time I asked leave of the king 7 and came to Jerusalem, and I then discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, preparing for him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. 8 And I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the chamber."
The craftiness of sin is undeniable. It is so sly that it can talk us into building it a room within the sanctuary of our hearts where it can master us. Keep your heart with all diligence and you will not compromise.
When Nehemiah left Judah to return to King Artaxerxes just as he said he would the people of Judah began to compromise. Eliashib the priest left in charge of the temple built the ammonite Tobiah a residence with the house of God which was forbidden and the people stopped giving offerings to provide for the Levites who were serving in the temple. They also began to violate the Sabbath.
When Nehemiah returned he burned with righteous indignation. He first removed the belongings of Tobiah from the temple chambers and had it cleansed. He also called the people to bring the offerings for the Levites and restored the observance of the Sabbath. Finally, he confronted those who had married women from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab cursing some, beaten some, and pulling hair out. He reminded them of the sin of Solomon in marrying foreign women.
Nehemiah is a picture of the Holy Spirit who is continually at work to convict and cleanse us. Tobiah is a picture of compromise. Our response to sin should be swift and radical. Accountability is a great way to help keep yourself on track. Ask God to reveal a Nehemiah like Christian in your life that you can be transparent with and who will remind you of the Word of God. We all need it! Amen?
Father, we thank You that You are faithful to bring conviction of sin into our lives through Your Spirit as well as through fellow believers. Forgive us for building a residence for sin within the sanctuary of our hearts. Cleanse us completely and strengthen us to be vigilant with our hearts. We also ask that You would put a desire within us for true accountability and bring a Nehemiah into our lives who can help us avoid compromise we pray in Jesus' name, amen!