We all know what a “Prequel” is…a “sequel” to a movie or a book, but the story in the Prequel chronologically starts BEFORE the story we already know. The new Wizard of Oz movie is one example. The best known is the Star Wars prequel series. In fact, I think that is when the word was actually birthed.
I just discovered there is a Prequel in Nehemiah. And it’s the prequel to your life.
In Chapter 13, Nehemiah has returned to Jerusalem from Babylon, where he went to serve Artaxerxes, the Persian king. It is not stated how long he was gone; however, when the cat’s away the mice will play….and the devil had a field day. In fact, he moved right in.
Neh. 13:7, “Then I discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah in preparing him (an adversary) a chamber in the courts of the house of God!”
In Nehemiah 13:1 the book of Moses was read publicly. The Law stated back then that the Jews weren’t supposed to allow the Ammonites or the Moabites to come into the temple because these particular groups had not only NOT taken care of the Jews as they made their way to the promised land by not giving them any water, but in fact impeded their progress AND hired Balaam to curse them! However, somehow over time these groups had slipped into the house of God’s assembly and intermingled with the Jews in the temple — and in their lives. When the Law was read publicly (declared) over all the Jews, it so convicted them the Amplified says, “…they separated from Israel all who were of foreign descent.” (Neh. 13:3) That means they gave them an eviction notice. Kicked them out.
This is where the prequel begins!
In verse 4, the Amplified says, “4 Now BEFORE THIS (emphasis mine), Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, and was related [by marriage] to Tobiah [our adversary],
5 Prepared for Tobiah a large chamber where previously they had put the cereal offerings, the frankincense, the vessels, and the tithes of grain, new wine, and oil which were given by commandment to the Levites, the singers, and gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests.”
God is really big on NAMES. The name Tobiah means, “YAHWEH is good”, and He is. However, our friend Tobiah is an Ammonite, an adversary — the enemy, “an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). He is not supposed to be hanging out with the Jews. He isn’t supposed to be in the temple, and he DEFINITELY is not supposed to be living there!
In this story, Eliashib the priest was related to the enemy by marriage. This is because the Jews had allowed the Ammonites and the Moabites to intermingle with them, married them, and had them as concubines and half-breed children grew up in their midst. This is how Tobiah came into the story.
He must have been somebody important, perhaps persuasive, perhaps manipulative, perhaps threatening — because the priest over the House of God moved all of God’s stuff OUT and moved Tobiah IN. Even the Levites and the singers weren’t being fed or paid. They had to go back to work in the fields to have something to eat. That’s because Tobiah the enemy had taken their place, had taken the place of the Lord’s worship and His Word in importance in the temple. The enemy had moved right in, slipped in almost unnoticed. Eliashib was deceived, forced, coerced, manipulated….whatever the reason, it happened.
Does that sound like your story? It was mine! Here you are, honoring God and worshiping Him, living your life for the Lord. Then along comes the cares and the tares of life and you find yourself after a period of time with the furnishings of the enemy in the places that once were reserved for God alone. Maybe you no longer have time, or as much time, to read the Bible, or soak in His presence. Maybe you haven’t been giving as much in the offering because you simply don’t have as much to give right now. Maybe you haven’t been serving at your church, or maybe even skip church because you have to work, or even just for rest. Maybe you don’t spend as much time in prayer as you once did.
Whatever the reason, it happened.
But that’s not really your story. Here is where your prequel REALLY starts — in verse 7, God’s favorite number! In Verse 7, Nehemiah came back to Jerusalem and set it all right again. He ousted Tobiah, moved all his furnishings out of the courts of the House of the Lord, and moved God’s treasures back into their rightful place. Nehemiah gathered the Levites and the Singers and set them back into position. He put God back as the main priority in the lives of the Jews. He put everything back in order, back into its proper place.
I feel Holy Spirit saying right now, “This is what I am doing now, moving the enemy out and moving God’s treasures back into their rightful places.”
His treasures are US!
Yesterday’s blog http://wp.me/p3NRF3-2 was about resting in God and letting Him do the work, allowing His favor to work on your behalf. I want you to know that Jesus has come in Power to restore everything that has been stolen from you. He is ousting the enemy! All of his junk has to go! Maybe for a season the Lord took a back-seat in your life, but no more! Maybe for a season the things and the cares of the world took your attention, but no more! God has said, “‘This far you may come and no farther!” (Job 38:11) God is moving heaven and earth to ensure you meet your destiny head on. He is setting it all right. He is moving YOU into your rightful place, as His heir. He has big plans for you, more than you can ask think or imagine! He is moving YOU into position. He is showering you with Favor to make sure those things come to pass.
“This is what I am doing now, moving the enemy out and moving God’s treasures back into their rightful places.”
Just as Nehemiah did, allow Jesus to move all the “things” of the enemy out of your life, and His “THINGS” back in!
Re-read the Word from the Holy Spirit above, it’s anointed!
Pray…”Father, come into my heart, into the chambers of my heart, and remove all the furnishings of the enemy. Restore your order in my life. Restore your treasures back into their rightful places in my heart. Cause me to be restored in every area of my life. Thank you Jesus! Amen.”