Thursday, 24 September 2020
God's House and righteousness
Question of the day: What is the "bottom line" of Nehemiah 10?
Answer: Look at the clue I gave you in the question. I put "bottom line" in quotes. What do we read on the bottom line of Nehemiah 10? Nehemiah 10:40b "We will not forsake the House of our God." Yes, but what does that mean to us today? What is our commitment to it, and what is our reality of the "House" of our God?
There are a lot more questions than answers in the previous paragraph. Let's turn to the Hebrew for some of the answer. What does it mean to "forsake" the house? The Hebrew word Azav means to "leave" more than "forsake." It is first used in Genesis 2:4 "This is why a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife; and they become one flesh." It is also spoken by Yeshua from the cross in Mark15:34 (from Psalms 21:1). So the promise (or covenant) of Nehemiah 10 means to never leave, or in the positive, "to cling" to the house of God.
Alternatively, the ancient Israelites had the Temple, but in Nehemiah 10 they were struggling. The Temple had been destroyed. Since I'm such a "bottom line" guy, let me get to it. In our day we cling to the presence of God. We walk with God ... Psalm 16:11 "You make known to me the path of life. Abundance of joys are in Your presence, eternal pleasures at Your right hand."
We stay in His presence by doing His will (which is called righteousness). 1 John 3:18-19 "Children, let us not love with word or talk, but in deed and truth! By this we shall know that we are of the truth, and set our heart at rest before Him."
Yes, back to the bottom line ... Philippians 3:10-11 "My aim is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the sharing of His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death - if somehow I might arrive at the resurrection from among the dead."
To be clear, it is not our righteousness, but Yeshua's that is worthwhile. Philippians 3:8b-9 "... that I might gain Messiah and be found in Him, not having my righteousness derived from Torah, but one that is through trusting in Messiah - the righteousness from God based on trust."
Stay righteous for Him, my friends.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,