Day 52 – Learn from the examples of others. As we close out the book of Nehemiah and our study, his last encouragement to us is to learn from the examples of others. Read Nehemiah 13:23-31.
In those days I also saw that the Jews had married women from Ashdod, Ammon and Moab. As for their children, half spoke in the language of Ashdod, and none of them was able to speak the language of Judah, but the language of his own people. So I contended with them and cursed them and struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, “You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take of their daughters for your sons or for yourselves. Did not Solomon king of Israel sin regarding these things? Yet among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel; nevertheless the foreign women caused even him to sin. Do we then hear about you that you have committed all this great evil by acting unfaithfully against our God by marrying foreign women?” Even one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was a son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite, so I drove him away from me. Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites. Thus I purified them from everything foreign and appointed duties for the priests and the Levites, each in his task, and I arranged for the supply of wood at appointed times and for the first fruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.
Nehemiah 13:23-31 NASB
Nehemiah wanted to know if they had learned from the past example of Solomon. God had been very clear to Solomon that the reason for his downfall had to do with all of his foreign wives and their gods that he started to follow. Now, Israel was doing the same thing again. Nehemiah reminds them that we must learn from what we’ve seen in the lives of others.
How about us? When we are looking around at the lives of the other people that we come into contact, do we see their successes and their opportunities? Of course we do! We see what God is doing in their lives and we can rejoice in the areas where they are obedient and we should learn from the areas where they are not. God desires for us to not have to go through the consequences of sin in our lives, and sometimes we have the opportunity to be around other people who are experiencing some of that. If we choose not to learn from their example, then we will experience the same sin in our life.
What sins do we need to cast off? What areas in the lives of those we are around do we need to learn from and apply to our own lives? God gave us the book of Nehemiah and all of the lessons that are contained within as an example and an opportunity to learn from the history of those people who have gone before us. We can see their amazing and phenomenal successes and we can see their failures and their difficulties. Will we learn from the example that they have set? Will we apply the truths that we have learned from this entire study to our lives as we continue to move forward in our journey with Jesus Christ?