Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the Spring. In Nehemiah 13 the people are doing a little spring cleaning:
– “Then I commanded them to cleanse the rooms…” (v. 9)
– “And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves…” (v. 22)
– “Thus I cleansed them of everything pagan…” (v. 30)
Are there areas in your house/life that could use some spring cleaning?
Think about your faith and your spiritual life. The end of verse 2 says, “However, our God turned the curse into a blessing.” Every family/person is either living under a curse or a blessing. When God created man he put Adam and Eve in a perfect environment, but when they sinned, everything was cursed with sin. Jesus came and died on the cross, and He who knew no sin became sin for us. He took our place. You don’t have to live under the curse of sin. Jesus was made a curse for us on the cross. If you want to live under a curse it is by your own choice. God wants you to live under a blessing. What do you need to cleanse yourself from in order to live under a blessing?
Tobiah had opposed Nehemiah, the building program, and the house of God; however, in verses 6-7, we read that they gave him an office in the house of God. That is just wrong! The devil does not want a parking place; he wants a position in the church. He wants to be a church leader. Give no place to the devil. I hate the devil. We should hate what God hates and love what God loves. Verse 8 says, “And it grieved me bitterly; therefore, I threw all the household goods of Tobiah out of the room.” Run bad company, bad friends, bad boyfriends, and bad girlfriends away from your house. Throw the devil out of your house, marriage, business, and the church! He is unwanted and unwelcome in Jesus Name!
Friends are like buttons on an elevator. They can take you up or take you down. What does the Bible say about the right kind of friends? A friend loves at all time, is loyal, lifts you up, is someone you learn from, does not lie to you, is someone you laugh with, listens to you, and will lay down their life for you. Jesus is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. I heard John Maxwell once say that the people closest to you will determine your level of success. What friendships in your life could use some spring cleaning?
The worst thing that could happen is for God to give any of us what we deserve. We have all sinned and we all need forgiveness. In verse 18, Nehemiah confronts the people. “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.” Nehemiah continues by commanding them to cleanse themselves and to sanctify the Sabbath. Then, he prays for mercy. Forgiveness is found in the person of Jesus. We need forgiveness and we need mercy. What changes do you need in your life? What do you need to repent of?
More often than not, growth requires change. It may require the abandonment of some structure, schedule, relationship, or activity that we’ve grown to love. It may require some spring cleaning! Think about your faith, friends, and need for forgiveness. Think about your family and your finances. Take time to do what Nehemiah did. Clean, clean, clean!