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Thursday, September 16, 2010

    This year, I have been studying the case laws of Exodus. It is interesting (Yes, it is frequently interesting!) to see how God’s plan for government covers all the bases. It provides for everyone and everything and makes a whole lot more sense than the structure of government in our country today… whether you’re reading this from the US, Canada, Japan, South Africa, Romania, or Australia, it makes more sense! It just WORKS. If it is followed. Problem is, it often wasn’t. That’s when the problems began for Israel.

     After one of their “falling away” times, Israel was taken captive in Babylon. (There’s a whole interesting sequence of events involving prophesies and maybe I’ll post about that later.) Nehemiah was allowed to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall, and after it was built, the Law was found. They read the Law, realized their errors and came up with a “Magna Charta” or constitution of sorts. Here it is http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Neh&c=10&v=1&t=NIV
Read it there or crack open your Bible to Nehemiah 10. Please don’t just bypass this, it won’t take you that long. I think you will enjoy it anyway.

Having just finished dissecting the US constitution last week, I dissected this rather shorter piece of legislation and summarized it. Here is what I came up with:

(signers names and seals)
“We the people do solemnly swear to be a people pure and distinct, to follow God’s plan for our property and time, to pay “taxes” in the form of a simple tithe (that is, ten  percent), to give a contribution to the House of God, as is our duty, to give the Lord our first and our best, to provide for our leaders, to provide for the poor, and to remember our God.”

Don’t you think that sounds like a good law-of-the-land? I mean, it’s simple. And welfare is built in, but nobody is discriminated against. And taxes are low and simple! No crazy paperwork for them to fill out. We see, though, that just 3 chapters later, the Israelites had totally discarded the document! Isn’t that sad? After all God had done for them... made the King agree to Nehemiah’s request (1:4-6), gave them faith and strength (2:20), gave them protection (4:14), gave them financial relief (5:12), thwarted plans of the opposition (6:10-13), gave them success in rebuilding the wall (7:1), brought exiles home (7:5), gave them the Book of the Law (8:1-2), and forgave them and gave them joy (8:11-12). Let’s not be like them, so ungrateful and unfaithful!
     The good news is that God still forgave them and gave them a second chance. 2 Titus 2:13 says, “When we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.”

     Lord, make us like Nehemiah, who had faith, patience, and perseverance. Let us live for you alone and stay at the center of your will. Let us bless you that you will bless us and the work of our hands. Amen.

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