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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Sellout (05/26/11)

TITLE: The Challenge
By Shanta Richard
06/01/11


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Nehemiah smiled with satisfaction as he bid farewell to the Jews of Jerusalem. God had helped him to fulfill his mission. The city walls had been built, the temple renovated, the sacrifices and worship services reinstalled. Ezra, the scribe and priest had instructed the people in the observance of the Law of Moses.

The people had responded by renewing their covenant with God and obeying His commandments. The temple store houses were filled with their tithes and offerings. Smoke from the burnt offerings rose up into the skies every morning and evening. Sanballat and Tobiah, the enemies of Godís people, who had tried to hinder the renovation operations and discourage the hearts of the Jews, had retreated in defeat. Now it was time for Nehemiah to return to the Shushan palace and resume his duties as the kingís cupbearer.

Sometime later Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem expecting to see the fruits of the seeds he and Ezra had planted. But what he saw in Jerusalem broke his heart in disappointment. Once again the Jews had broken their covenant with God almighty.

The priest Eliashib had a chamber prepared in the Temple treasury for Tobiah. Nehemiah was appalled to see the enemy of the Jews installed within the temple courts. A thief in the treasury Ė a fox in the hen-house Ė Satanís stronghold in the sanctuary of the Most High. How did it happen? It was because the priest did not hesitate to sellout the trust placed in him as the custodian of Godís authority.

Satan is cunning and wise. He only needs a tiny gap in the hedge, a crack in the dam, a chink in the armor, doubt in the mind of a believer, and he is in Ė he has his stronghold. Thereafter his strategy is easy.
-It made Esau sellout his birthright for a bowl of hot lentil soup
-It made the rich young ruler back out from following Jesus
-It made Judas sellout his Savior for thirty pieces of silver.

Jesus was willing to sellout His majesty, glory and honor as the second person of the trinity, the Son of God and come down to earth to take sinful manís place on the cross. He paid the price that man may be raised to the realm of glory. He has offered man the inalienable right to be the heir of the kingdom of God. Lured by money, comfort, false security and the promise of earthly pleasures man has preferred to sellout this sacred inheritance.

Nehemiah threw out Tobiah and all his household stuff out of the treasury and sanctified the temple. It is time for us to clean up the temple of our hearts and prepare to receive our King.


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Phee Paradise 06/03/11
You summarized Nehemiah well and used it to send an important message. I only wonder about your use of sellout to describe Jesus, especially since all the other uses of the word are negative. But I love the way you provided other examples of people in the Bible selling out. It's good for us to remember how easily we might do the same.
Brenda Rice 06/03/11
You did a good overview of Nehemiah. It is certainly on the topic. It flows well. Jesus sold out in the right way, where the others sold out in the wrong way. Good job.
diana kay06/05/11
i love Nehemiah...thank you for reminding us of this great man of faith and his willingness to follow God and inspire others