Nehemiah 13:4-5 Eliashib the priest had been put in charge of the storerooms of the house of our God. He was closely associated with Tobiah, and he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithes of grain, new wine and olive oil prescribed for the Levites, musicians and gatekeepers, as well as the contributions for the priests.
We have come to the end of the Book of Nehemiah. We also have come back again to a recurring theme. That theme is that whenever the people of God strayed from the Law of Moses they fall into unfaithful, disobedient and sinful behavior. It happens again. Nehemiah takes action and disaster is avoided.
Eliashib the priest had been placed in charge of the supplies for the Temple worship system. Like many other worship leaders he was guilty of having intermarried with the surrounding nations. (Ezra 10:24) He had confessed this sin earlier and maintained is place in the community. But now we find that he had allowed Tobiah the Ammonite to take up residence within the Temple of God. This was a violation of the Law of Moses and indicative of Eliashib’s sincerity and integrity as a leader of God’s people.
Nehemiah finds out about this in Babylon where he had traveled to meet with the King. Hearing this news, he again asks permission of Artaxerxes to return to handle the matter. God’s work was a priority. Returning he quickly throws out Tobiah and has the other priests purify the entire store room of this defilement.
Is God’s Word a priority in your life and development as a person of integrity? Many of the troubles we face and sins we commit result from our preoccupation with the priorities the world sets for us. Like Nehemiah, we must submit to the authorities of the world but also be actively willing to do as God commands for his glory and our spiritual development.