The Last Words of the Old Testament

Remember me, O my God, for good!

- Nehemiah 13:31b

Tonight, I finished preaching through Nehemiah. It’s a tough book in places, but contains much spiritual nourishment. Its final chapter is probably the last section of the Old Testament to have been written; books of the Bible are not in strict chronological order. The above words are therefore the final Spirit-inspired utterances prior to the birth of John the Baptist.

It’s a typical Nehemiahan prayer: short and sharp but heartfelt and sincere. Having led revival in Israel and rebuilt its walls, the people and rulers are backslidden by the time he returns from his visit to Persia. In this final chapter, he once again puts things in order. He prays these little prayers four times. This final one is a plea that the reforms will last. He does not suggest that the Lord is prone to forgetfulness, nor is he seeking lavish reward for his endeavours. He prays that his good work will endure.

If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.

-1 Corinthians 3: 14