Nehemiah Chapter 13
Tobiah Part 2: Get him off the throne!
by I Gordon
 ↩ Jesus told us 'I will never leave you, nor forsake you.' (Heb 13:5) This is true of born again Christians for eternity. But we all go through periods (sometimes prolonged) where his presence doesn't seem with us. Its not that he isn't with us, it just doesn't seem like he is. He is trying to teach us the nature of faith. That faith is not based on our feelings or our sense of his presence, but his character and truth which never changes.
 ↩ We should not be surprised by the presence of God coming and going.. Look at King David, a 'man after God's own heart', and read his psalms. Often you find him crying out not knowing where God is, and not understanding why God is so silent. He had great highs and awesome fellowship with God, but he also had terrible lows where God seemed nowhere. God used them both.
 ↩ What is the offering that God wants today? He wants us to offer ourselves. 'Therefore, I urge you brethren, by the mercies of God, to offer yourselves to God as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, which is your spiritual service of worship.' (Rom 12:1) So that is what people do, but its done with Tobiah sitting in the offering room in the temple. We offer him our abilities and strengths. We consecrate ourselves and re-surrender time and time again but it only amounts to offering up the old man because we have forgotten one very important principle. And that is, that we are to offer and 'present ourselves to God as those alive from the dead.' (Rom 6:13) If Tobiah is sitting in the temple we will seek to by-pass the death sentence on ourselves and offer God our natural strength. The offering that God accepts is as one alive from the dead. Recognising that we died with Christ and have no strength in ourselves, we offer to God our bodies to live in and through.
 ↩ Even Faithful from Pilgrim's Progress was tempted to go after the Old Man (Tobiah). But please look at what happened after he had been talking to the Old Man. It's long but I have to write the whole thing!
Christian: Did you meet with any other assault as you traveled? Faithful: When I came to the hill of difficulty, I met a very aged man who asked me who I was and where I was going. I told him that I was a pilgrim going to the Celestial City. Then he said "You look like an honest fellow; would you be content to live with me for the wages I shall give you?" Then I asked him his name and where he lived. He said his name was the First Adam and that he lived in the town of Deceit. I asked him then what kind of work he had and what wages he would pay. He told me that his work contained many delights and for my wages I should be his heir. I asked him what kind of house he had and what other servants. So he told me that his house contained all the delicious things in the world and his servants were his children. He said he had but three daughters: The Lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, and that I could marry them all if I liked. Then I asked him how long he wanted me to live with him, and he said as long as he himself lived. At first I was somewhat inclined to go with this man... but looking at his forehead as I talked with him, I saw written "Put off the old man with his deeds."Christian: And then what? Faithful: I told him that he could quit talking for I would not come near the door of his house. Then he reviled me and told me he would send one after me who would make my way miserable...Now when I had got about half way up, I looked behind and saw someone coming after me swift as the wind...As soon as the man overtook me, he knocked me down. When I came to myself I asked him why he had treated me so. He said "Because of your secret interest in the First Adam."
 ↩ I'm not trying to be a moaner here. It's just that Jesus was the ultimate non-showman. He didn't 'perform' for people or try to win them at any cost. When he became popular and they wanted to make him king, he withdrew and walked away by himself. (John 6:15). When many decided not to follow him anymore, his reaction was 'for this reason I said to you that nobody can come to me unless it is granted him from the Father.' (John 6:65) He didn't play on people's emotions or pressure them into following him. He said and did what he heard the Father saying and doing, and let truth pierce the heart.
 ↩ Ok, so even a trickster could lead someone to Christ and the salvation would be genuine because God looks at the heart of the person coming to him. But he's even more likely to be a contributing factor in the 80-90% fall away rate that American evangelists now ACCEPT, through crusades and local church preaching. (Ray Comfort - Hells Best Kept Secret.)
 ↩ Yep, that was the number one reason the law was given. To show a fallen race that they desperately need a savior. And how it does it is by showing, exposing, & increasing our sin. Rom 5:20 'The Law was added so that sin would INCREASE.' Rom 7:7 'I would not have come to know what sin was except through the law...but sin, taking the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind.' 1Cor 15:56 'The sting of death is sin, and THE POWER OF SIN IS THE LAW!' If you read the Bible as a list of rules and laws, of course you will try to keep them, and of course you'll end up using your own strength, and of course Moses will whack you!
 ↩ I've heard some good sermons on guarding the tongue and watching what it says. Usually from James (uh, the book, not the speaker.). All about how it can cause fires or steer ships or something. Anyway, that's all true, but guarding what comes out of your mouth is not where it's at. The problem is much deeper and much worse! What kind of victory is it to be fuming inside, but to keep it down by biting your tongue? Isn't the true problem the attitudes and thoughts of the heart? That's where the cleansing is needed. See the next footnote.
 ↩ It's easy to deal with Tobiah's outward sins, trying to pick them off one by one, and forget about the source of those sins. This cleansing dealt to the person of Tobiah. Watchman Nee gave the best example of this that I can remember (hope I can!) Lets say you got fed up with all the alcohol in the city and decided to get rid off it all. Well, you go from house to house, finding and smashing all the bottles, determined to get on top of the situation. The problem is, that while you are going from house to house, the local factory is producing more and more bottles! If you don't go to the source of the problem (the factory) you are wasting your time! The Apostle Paul made a wonderful discovery that finally set him free. He found out that he was the problem! (Rom 7:24-25) And if he was the problem, then he couldn't be the answer. He then discovered 2 things: that the law of the Spirit of life can set you free from the law of sin and death. And that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. (Rom 8.1-2)
 ↩ Matt 26:39-42
 ↩ 2Cor 8:9
 ↩ Luke 19:41
 ↩ John 17:4
 ↩ Matt 4:1-11, Col 2:13-15, Rom 6:6
 ↩ Matt 26:26-30, Acts 1:3
 ↩ Zech 12:1-9, Zech 14:1-4
 ↩ Zech 13:1 This happens straight after he defeats Israel's enemies in 12:1-9 and they finally recognise him! (vs 10)
 ↩ Ezekiel Chapters 40-47.
 ↩ Isaiah 2:1-4, 11:1-10, 66:17-25
 ↩ Rev 2:26, 12:5, 19:15
Related Series Posts
- Nehemiah 1 - Introduction: The Christian's Life and Warfare.
- Nehemiah 2: The Reproach, the Rock & the Rubble
- Nehemiah 3: The Gates of Spiritual Progression
- Nehemiah 4: Sanballat's Initial Attack - Confuse that mind.
- Nehemiah 4: Sanballat's Second Attack - Physical Persecution
- Nehemiah 4: Our Stand - The Armour of God
- Nehemiah 6: The Trump Card - Geshem and Worldly Compromise.
- Nehemiah 6: Our Defense - Recognising the great work
- Nehemiah 6: Sanballat Strikes Back - The angel of light!
- Nehemiah 7: The Last Enemy - Tobiah that 'good' man!
- Nehemiah 13: Tobiah Part 2 - Get him off the throne!