Throw Him Out!
June 2, 2015 • By Ed Wrather
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. - 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NKJV.
Now before this, Eliashib the priest, having authority over the storerooms of the house of our God, was allied with Tobiah. And he had prepared for him a large room, where previously they had stored the grain offerings, the frankincense, the articles, the tithes of grain, the new wine and oil, which were commanded to be given to the Levites and singers and gatekeepers, and the offerings for the priests. But during all this I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Then after certain days I obtained leave from the king, and I came to Jerusalem and discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, in preparing a room for him in the courts of the house of God. And it grieved me bitterly; therefore I threw all the household goods of Tobiah out of the room. Then I commanded them to cleanse the rooms; and I brought back into them the articles of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense. - Nehemiah 13:4-9 NKJV.
In Pennsylvania, an elderly woman with some physical disabilities was unable to climb the stairs to the second story in her home. The elderly woman had a caregiver, which unknown to the homeowner, had invited the caregiver's boyfriend to live in the second story of the home. Apparently, the boyfriend had been living in the second floor of the home for several weeks before visiting family members discovered him hiding in a closet. Local police were able to remove the man, and have charged him with some law violations. The family has now found another caregiver and will be much more watchful of what might possibly be lurking in the upstairs of the home. (NBC News 05.22.15)
It would be shocking and even frightening, to know that a stranger was living unknown in your home. What Nehemiah discovered in the temple at Jerusalem was even more shocking. He found that Eliashib, the priest, allowed Tobiah the enemy of God to actually live in the temple. Tobiah, along with Sanballat were leaders of those attempting to prevent Nehemiah from rebuilding the wall of protection around Jerusalem. Not only was Tobiah living in the temple, but Eliashib had “prepared” the “large room” for Tobiah to live in. Nehemiah had a solution to the problem which grieved him, “I threw all the household goods of Tobiah out of the room. Then I commanded them to cleanse the rooms; and I brought back into them the articles of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.”
What does this have to do with us? The body of a believer in Jesus is the dwelling place of the Spirit of God, “You are the temple of God.” What are you allowing to live in the temple of God? Have you invited sin to dwell alongside of the Spirit of God? The Bible says, “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” The solution is not easy, it wasn't easy for Nehemiah either; but Tobiah, sin, must be thrown out. Throw him out!