Day 320 November 16
23 Also in those days I saw Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. 24 Half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod or the language of various peoples; they couldn’t speak the language of Judah.
25 So I scolded them and cursed them, and beat some of them, and pulled out their hair. I also made them swear a solemn pledge in the name of God, saying, “You won’t give your daughters to their sons in marriage, or take their daughters in marriage for your sons or yourselves. 26 Didn’t Israel’s King Solomon sin on account of such women? Among the many nations there was no king like him. He was well loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel. Yet foreign wives led even him into sin! 27 Should we then listen to you and do all this great evil, acting unfaithfully toward our God by marrying foreign women?”
28 Now one of the sons of Joiada son of the high priest Eliashib was a son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite. So I chased him away from me.
29 Remember them, my God, because they have defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priests and the Levites!
30 So I purified them of everything foreign and established the services of the priests and Levites with specific duties for each person. 31 I also provided for the wood offering at appointed times as well as for the early produce.
Remember me, my God, for good.
Comment: At the end of Nehemiah’s book he is remembering all that Israel had gone through before ending up in exile and asking WHY would anyone be tempted to return to the old ways again. They had already experienced the consequences of separating themselves from Yahweh, so why do it again by going against Yahweh’s commands. The edicts against foreign wives was just one of the ways Israel was supposed to live as a unique people, by a unique code (weekly Sabbath, One God, 10 Commandments, food laws, One place of worship, etc.)
2 Corinthians 4:1-6
This is why we don’t get discouraged, given that we received this ministry in the same way that we received God’s mercy. 2 Instead, we reject secrecy and shameful actions. We don’t use deception, and we don’t tamper with God’s word. Instead, we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God by the public announcement of the truth. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are on the road to destruction. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of those who don’t have faith so they couldn’t see the light of the gospel that reveals Christ’s glory. Christ is the image of God.
5 We don’t preach about ourselves. Instead, we preach about Jesus Christ as Lord, and we describe ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. 6 God said that light should shine out of the darkness. He is the same one who shone in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 3:13-22
13 Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14 But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15 but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16 yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20 who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21 And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.
Prayer: Lord, show me your glory, I pray. Amen.