By the end of the book of Nehemiah the people of Jerusalem have rebuilt and dedicated the great wall that they have reconstructed around their city. The wall represents protection and security and defines the city from the outside world. But that physical wall was unable to prevent the people within from falling away from following God. Nehemiah leaves Jerusalem for a brief time to return to visit the king of Babylon. When he returns he finds that the people have failed in several areas: they have allowed the Temple to be violated, they have failed to keep the Sabbath and they have intermarried with foreign women. He takes action to counter each of these trespasses. It occurred to me that we may think we have constructed walls in our own lives that guarantee our security and safety, but we must be on guard to protect our hearts. In our day our Temple is our very life, our Sabbath is our intimate relationship with the Lord and marriage to outsiders may be likened to compromise with the world's values. We need to keep a sharp watch on the walls of our mind and heart for the secret agents of corruption that would seek to form a wedge between us and a close and sincere walk with the living God!
Nehemiah 13:6 I was not in Jerusalem at that time, for I had returned to King Artaxerxes of Babylon in the thirty-second year of his reign, though I later asked his permission to return. 7 When I arrived back in Jerusalem, I learned about Eliashib's evil deed in providing Tobiah with a room in the courtyards of the Temple of God. 8 I became very upset and threw all of Tobiah's belongings out of the room.