I was reading Nehemiah 13 this morning, the last chapter in the Book of Nehemiah. It came to me just how much of a challenge and how much of a “disturbance” is the business of “prophetic restoration.” Nehemiah went about not only rebuilding the outer walls of Jerusalem, but also the inner walls of the sanctuary of the heart of men and women of God. Nehemiah called them to new levels of “living faithfully.”
In chapter 13 alone Nehemiah had the Book of Moses read before the assembly and made the people agree to adhere to it! Nehemiah evicted Tobiah from the temple, because by way of a relative he was given a room that was meant to be used to store the offerings of Israel – to which the Levite priest and singers had a right to. Because there was no offering and no place to store it the priest had all gone to work in their own fields to survive. This is exactly what happens when people fail to support those in ministry or to make tithes and offerings at the local church. The House of God gets neglected, the ministry leaders get neglected and the work of God on earth is disrupted. This is a plan of the enemy to disrupt and try to stop the work of God. Who are you sponsoring in ministry? What orphan or widow are you helping? What local church do you tithe or make offerings to? Which native pastor or missionary – who is living by faith, are you helping to sponsor? Are you responsible for disrupting the work of God on earth because you “want the room for yourself” or “you spend your portion and God’s portion also?”
Nehemiah goes on to make sure that the Levites, those in ministry, receive their proper portions of the offerings. Prophetic restoration! Do you think the people liked it? I doubt that the masses approved of it! It came by force of the law and force of the Prophet, by the hand of God. People today complain and many are bitter about what the present Administration is doing in America and globally. The complaints are incessant and vile, but I submit to you that it is “Prophetic Restoration.” Things are being put back in order by an administration with a “Prophetic Mandate.” Do we agree with “every word”, or “every pretense?” Nope, but order, “prophetic order by the principles of God” are being restored, and at times by force of God and his prophetic administration of order. Agree or disagree, its ok, but it’s reality in front of you – just as it was in front of ancient Israel. Ancient Israel had fallen into disrepair, disobedience, lack of godliness, they lost God and God’s book, the Law of Moses, was even lost until “Prophetic Restoration” was brought in by force by “a prophetic administration of restoration” (Nehemiah)
Nehemiah made sure that the people refrained from work on the Sabbath day and he even rebuked foreigners among them who were bringing things to the market to sell on the Sabbath. Nehemiah said that they were all treating God’s day as though it were unholy and common. Nehemiah went as far as to force the gates of Jerusalem shut – before the day of worship. He forced all to stop and to honor God, no business, no trade, no buying, no selling, no maligning God’s day of rest. Nehemiah, God’s man, even found sellers trying to set up shop, and/or wait and camp out just outside the walls, as if to force their way in first on the day of worship to buy, sell and trade. Nehemiah gave them all stern warnings. Nehemiah threatened them with arrest if they came and appeared again to treat God’s day as unholy. Is that “Prophetic Restoration?” Yes it is. Was it well received? I doubt it. I can see them cursing and making gestures at Nehemiah, God’s man, because he was affecting their pocketbook. Here in the USA we have a one fast food chain called Chick-Fil-A who make it there business to be closed on Sunday. You can argue whether the Sabbath is Saturday, or Sunday and I’d listen for a while, but the point is that this Christian owned business honors God and God’s principles and God blesses them. Many states that are progressive liberal states do not welcome Chick-Fil-A and have even opposed the opening of Chick-Fil-A restaurants in their region – because they know that Chick-Fil-A honors God first. Here is a link to our local Chick-Fil-A who are amazing sponsors in the local school system and many other charitable organizations. (No they don’t sponsor CrownLife Ministry – but they could one day)
Nehemiah takes it a step farther and he dissolves marriages between those of Israel and those of other nations. I assume that was “By Executive Order.” There was no vote, Nehemiah “Just did it!” The Jews had inner married with people from the nations and had been corrupted in taking on the practices of those nations including idol worship, disregard for the Living God and many other things. Half of their kids could not even speak Hebrew. Israel was becoming “a melting pot” culture, but one who disregarded God and His laws and rules and covenant. Nehemiah cited the fact that King Solomon who was called and chosen by God to be King over Israel had ended his life by living unfaithfully. Nehemiah cited his many marriages to the women of the nations and their abilities to turn him to worshipping their “so called gods” and taking on their pagan practices and intermixing them or interchanging them for true worship and service to the Elohim of Israel. Am I speaking against foreigners, or the marriage of U.S. nationals to foreigners? Not in the least as I am married, but once and for 33 years now to a native of the country of Honduras. What is essential is that we are both in Christ firmly and serving Him and His Kingdom. But in the time of Nehemiah Israel was the nation of God and the other nations were not godly nations, but rather pagan nations.
Nehemiah even chased away “seemingly very important officials and people with certain political – or family provided positions.” The son of a Chief Priest was physically chased away by the Prophet Nehemiah. “I chased Joiada’s son away from me!”
At every turn we find the Prophet Nehemiah, “the Restoration Prophet” praying to God for the blessings of obedience. You can almost read between the lines that this thing was also hard on him. Nehemiah had to do extremely unpopular things in order to save and restore the nation. In the end Nehemiah cleanses everything and sets each priest in his place with a specific assignment and he restores the offerings and the sanctity of the Sabbath day. Nehemiah concludes by saying to his Elohim, “Remember me, my God, for my benefit.” It was fitting to make this petition to God exactly when Nehemiah did. Nehemiah did all that God asked of him, the dirty, the unpleasant, the hard things, everything and he did them for the benefit of Israel, the people of God, the nation, the temple and the priestly order. Nehemiah did it for God. Yet once it was all done Nehemiah asked that God remember him for his benefit.
Some say that our current U.S. President is a narcissist and I had to look that that word up. As it turns out many leaders of big business and many prevailing political leaders fit that definition. Not all but plenty of them go down that road. Personally I admire the fact that our current President set aside his own life to bring about a “prophetic restoration” of America and parts of the world. I shudder to think where we would be if things had gone any other way. However you see the current administration God says, “Pray for them and all who are in positions of leadership.” We prayed when others were in power and we are praying now, knowing that God Himself is working a “prophetic restoration.”
Don’t ask God for blessings, favor or benefits if you have not done what He has asked of you. Note that Nehemiah only asked after completing each task. Jesus said to his many disciples, “Why do you call me Lord, and you do not do what I ask you to do?”
Have you done, been doing, will do – what God has asked of you? Let’s recognize together that there are people in positions of power who God is using to do some of the unpleasant things that will restore Godly order, respect for God’s ways and to restore a nation and parts of the world. They may not do it with gentleness, or with great poetic articulation, but at times by force of hand, force of legislation, force of God – or else all could be lost… Remember that “Prophetic Restoration Is Not Velvet And Lace.”