Maintaining Loyalty to God

Maintaining Loyalty to God

(Reflection from Nehemiah 13:1-31)

"Photo by Garon Piceli from Pexels"

“Christian Reflection On Our Faithfulnes to God”


This may come as a surprise to some, but perhaps not to others.


That our loyalty to someone must be maintained.


It is like a water pipe which is faithful every day to deliver water to us from its source. It is wrong to think that once the pipe is installed, then the work is finished, water will always come to us faithfully every day.


It turns out that if the pipes are not maintained, both for the pipes themselves and the quality of the water sent from them, then one day there will definitely be problems with the water.



In this story of Nehemiah, after he finished the spiritual restoration movement during his reign as governor for 12 years; Apparently Nehemiah had to go back to Susan first and leave Jerusalem.


To his surprise, when he returned to Jerusalem some time later, Nehemiah found that the loyalty of the Israelites who lived in Jerusalem was gradually waning.


Then Nehemiah, did the following steps to again invite the people in Jerusalem to maintain their loyalty to God:



# Stay Close to God's Word


Christianity is not just a religion, but a close relationship with God. 

Therefore, we have the privilege of calling God as Father (1 Timothy 1: 2), even Best Friend (John 15:15)


In a relationship, communication is said to be the key to a healthy relationship. If there is no communication, then surely a relationship will slowly become tenuous and even cut off.  Loyalty can surely be shaken when communication is lost.


Therefore, it is important to keep our relationship with God in faithfulness by continuing to build our communication with God through reading God's words and prayers.


Praying is not enough, because it will largely be our one way communication with God. Meanwhile, through reading God's Word, we can listen to God speak to us too.


However, being diligent in reading God's Word is not enough. Even just being diligent in memorizing God's words will not have any impact on our lives. The most important thing is that we have to DO what God's word has told us.


Don't delay doing God's word.


That is what the people of Israel did when they heard the word of God when they understood that the Ammonites and Moabites could not enter God's congregation forever (Nehemiah 13: 1-3). They immediately took the implementation steps.


We must be people who are faithful to hear and do God's word. Become doers of God's word, and not just listeners.




# Don't Compromise


Once they knew the truth of God's word, the Israelites during the leadership of Nehemiah did not try to compromise God's word. Likewise with us, we should not compromise with God's word. That’s the only way our loyalty to God can be maintained.


One of the most common causes for compromise is the result of wrong associations. We chose the wrong friends.


Instead of pointing us toward goodness, we can instead be drawn into sinful habits. Instead of bringing us closer to God, it will further distance us from God.


That is what Eliashib Priest did (v. 4). He chose to have a close relationship with Tobiah, and instead resulted in him and the Israelites he led having a bad relationship with God.


Why Elyasib did this, perhaps also for his own benefit.  However, he did not realize that what he was doing was not only bad for himself, but the disruption of the ministry in the temple.


That's also what we often think about when compromising on things that we take for granted. For example, delaying worship or giving offerings, or other things in our daily lives.


We think it's okay, just a little thing, just occasionally. However, it can have a big impact on our lives and those around us.



Even Nehemiah refused to compromise. Even with a high priest, God's word must be practiced faithfully. When Nehemiah learned that the grandson of the high priest Eliashib was also married to a foreigner, he drove him out (v. 28).


Nehemiah was indiscriminate. He enforced God's law for all people. Whether people are influential or not. Either poor or rich.


Whether God's congregation or the high priest, they must all learn from King Solomon's mistakes in obeying God's commands (vv. 23-28). That bad associations will destroy good habits, including causing damage to a close relationship with the true God.



# Be Faithful to The Sabbath


Nehemiah began the spiritual renewal movement with the confession of sins in Nehemiah 9, and one of which was that the Israelites confessed their sins, was not observing the Sabbath day. During Nehemiah's reign as regent, they began to observe the Sabbath again.


Unfortunately, when Nehemiah had to go back to Susan for a while and also because of the chaos and neglect of the ministry in the Temple; the Israelites again disregarded the commandment regarding the Sabbath day.


They returned to work on the Sabbath, as well as trading, even outsiders traded in Jerusalem (vv. 15-22). So Nehemiah became furious with all of them.



Why is the Sabbath important? It even seems so important?


It is clear that keeping the Sabbath day holy is one of the 10 commandments of God. And the ten commandments are each of the same value. No commandment is lower than any other.


This commandment God gave to the Israelites so that they remember to prioritize their relationship with God and show love for God through obedience to His commandments.


The last day of each week is commanded by God to us to be faithful to the example of God Himself who created the heavens and the earth and all of their contents for 6 days; and God Himself stopped on the seventh day.


When we imitate Him, we become different, "sanctified or set apart" as God's people. The time available is used for worship and rest.


This is an act of faith and a statement of faith. 

  • That we believe God is the one who cares for our lives, not our work.
  • That our relationship with God must be a treasure that we protect faithfully.


Obedience to the Sabbath is actually the simplest way to perform a real act of faith for every believer. Express our faith and loyalty to God.

Read also:  Caring God's Servant


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