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Nehemiah 12:27-13:31
Several things struck me in this reading the first was in verses 44 and 45 of the twelfth chapter.

And on that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced, for God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard from far away. On that day men were appointed over the storerooms for the contributions, first fruits, and tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions prescribed by the law for the priests and the Levites, for Judah took delight in the priests and Levites who were ministering. (Nehemiah 12:43-44 NET.)

Do we ever take delight in rejoicing over the things God has blessed us with? Do we take delight in the ministers God has called to serve us, His gifts to the Body of Christ that are placed into service to build us up? Usually when something is being built for the glory of God, there can be a little bit of murmuring and complaining, “If I was in charge…” and other derogatory comments along that line. Do we honor the men of God who serve us, or do we complain and give details on how we would function differently if we were in charge?

The second thing that caught my interest was that “bad” penny Tobiah, he just keeps popping up. After having done all he could to discourage the building of the wall, moving from threats and intimidation to murder plots, he has the nerve and audacity to move into a room in the Temple after it was built. How does this translate into our world? Do we try to thwart the plans of God using every trick in the book? Then when the feat is accomplished, and it will be because God can not be stopped, do we then “move in” on the finished product and try to take over? And has anyone ever did that to you when you were being led by God to accomplish His work in your community? Nehemiah threw the scoundrel out. Have we thrown out our Tobiahs or do we let them move in and occupy the best room in the “house”?

I Corinthians 11:1-16

Mike’s admonishment for us to take into consideration the cultural of the day is very wise. Too often, we fail to learn about the world, cultural and customs, the writers of the Books of the Bible lived in. Paul wrote a letter to a particular church, Corinth, in a particular time for a specific purpose, and we must keep that in mine when we read. The patterns and principals may be applied to our lives but his comments regarding social and cultural practices of the day must be seriously considered and his purpose for rebuke understood.

If anyone of us were to find in our attics, draws, or storage trunks a letter written to an aunt or uncle long gone, we cannot act like the letter was directed to us, although Paul expected this letter would be read by other churches we must consider the initial audience.

Although Paul is the Apostle to the Gentiles, he being a Jew would cover his head when he entered the synagogue or The Temple with a prayer shawl and the women would cover their heads too.

Psalm 35:1-16

David gives an example, himself, of how to handle persecution from those we know intimately and those who are strangers. Persecution will come, false accusations will be hurled but God is our “daysman,” He will protect us, defend us and be our advocate, so we should praise God even when we don’t feel like it. That is why David talks about a “sacrifice of praise” because we do it even when we do not “feel like it” and when we foresee no benefit to ourselves.

Proverbs 21:17-18
Hmmm, this Proverb, the 17th verse in particular, sent me running to my concordance, Mr. Strong. In the King James this verse reads,

He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.

The Hebrew word translated poor has also been translated as want (Judges 18:10; 19:19-20), and need (Deut 15:8) Thee Hebrew word appears 18 times in the Old Testament and only one time in that eighteen is it translated poverty (Prov. 11:24).

The word-translated poverty in these two verses is not the same word,

Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that traveleth; and thy want as an armed man. (Proverbs 24:33-34 KJV)

It is from another Hebrew word. The word “want” is the same Hebrew word translated “poor” in Proverbs 21:17.

I think there is a big difference between being poor and being in poverty but I’m not sure. I believe this calls me to do more studying.. [Deuteronomy 15:8; Judges 18:10; 19:19-20; Psalm 34:9; Proverbs 6:11; 11:24; 14:23; 21:5; 21:17; 22:16; 24:34; 28:27]

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