DEVOTION: WHERE IS YOUR STRONGEST ALLEGIANCE?

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DEVOTION: WHERE IS YOUR STRONGEST ALLEGIANCE?

DEVOTION: He Still Will Be Worship! | Pastor Shadrack RutoBetween your vertical relationship and horizontal relationships, which one triumphs over the other? In other words, which one of these do you have a stronger allegiance. For believers, the vertical relationship should triumph over the horizontal relationships. In fact, the vertical relationship enables us to have horizontal relationships. And this vertical relationship with God should dictate which kind of horizontal relationships we should have.

We saw yesterday that the Israelites had allowed the Ammonites or Moabites to be part of the community of God’s people in violation of God’s commandment given to them through His servant Moses. This violation led to strong relationships being build between the Israelites and these Ammonites. In our passage today, we see one of these strong relationships and its consequences.

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Read this passage:

 

Before this, Eliashib the priest had been put in charge of the storerooms of the house of our God. He was closely associated with Tobiah, and he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithes of grain, new wine and olive oil prescribed for the Levites, musicians and gatekeepers, as well as the contributions for the priests. Nehemiah 13:4-5

 

This passage begins with, “Before this”. The question is before what? The answer is in the preceding passage, which we read yesterday. This happened before the Book of Moses was read before the People. And it was discovered that the Israelites had violated a commandment from God. Here is the passage. Read it again:

 

On that day the Book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people and there it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be admitted into the assembly of God, because they had not met the Israelites with food and water but had hired Balaam to call a curse down on them. (Our God, however, turned the curse into a blessing.) When the people heard this law, they excluded from Israel all who were of foreign descent. Nehemiah 13:1-3

 

Now read again today’s passage:

 

Before this, Eliashib the priest had been put in charge of the storerooms of the house of our God. He was closely associated with Tobiah.  Nehemiah 13:4

 

Notice here how deep these relationships between these communities had grown. Eliashib the priest had a strong relationship with Tobiah, the Ammonite! Can you imagine this? The priest who was supposed to set a good example had violated the same commandment from God.

His relationship with Tobiah proved to be stronger than his relationship with God because Eliashib the priest was willing to further violate another commandment of God in order to accommodate the needs of his friend Tobiah. Listen to what he did!

 

And he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithes of grain, new wine and olive oil prescribed for the Levites, musicians and gatekeepers, as well as the contributions for the priests. Nehemiah 13:5

 

And this was a serious violation of God’s commandment. But you might say, how do you know this? Without going back to where this other commandment was given, just read the reaction of Nehemiah.

 

But while all this was going on, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Some time later I asked his permission and came back to Jerusalem. Here I learned about the evil thing Eliashib had done in providing Tobiah a room in the courts of the house of God. Nehemiah 13:6-7

 

This sin of Eliaship the priest had defiled the house of God. Notice what Nehemiah did concerning this.

 

I was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah’s household goods out of the room.  I gave orders to purify the rooms, and then I put back into them the equipment of the house of God, with the grain offerings and the incense. Nehemiah 13:8-9

Here we see Eliashib’s horizontal relationship was stronger than his vertical relationship. To state it differently, he had a stronger allegiance to Tobiah than to his God.

 

APPLICATION:

1.    The first and the most important question is this: Do you have any relationship with those God has strictly forbidden you to have? See if you have violated the following verse.

 

 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[b]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?  2 Corinthians 6:14-15

 

2.    Evaluate your vertical relationship versus your horizontal relationships. See if you might have a stronger allegiance to your human relationships than your most important relationship with God.

a.    Is it possible that you have a stronger allegiance to your tribe, race, nationality, than God?

b.    Do you fight for the glory of God over your family, tribe, or nation?

c.    Have you done anything in the past that demonstrated that you had stronger allegiances somewhere else other than God?

3.    Is it possible that you have violated God’s commandments because of your desire to meet the needs of your associates like Eliaship the priest?  Answer a few of these questions as a guide.

a.    Do you miss attending church because of your friend’s activities?

b.     Do you violate God’s commandments by doing that which is forbidden in an attempt to please or not disappoint your friends?

c.      Have you made friendship with the things of God? E.g. a church van, chairs, finances, etc. This question is critical for those who work in a church setting or non-profit Organizations.

d.    Do you rob God by using your tithes to meet the needs of your family, friends, or your personal needs?  Thus, depriving the house of God.

4.    In what ways does your human relationships affect your relationship with God?

5.    How does your vertical relationship dictate or guide your horizontal relationships?

Since you have now seen and learnt that

Horizontal relationship can affect

Your vertical relationship

Answer the following

Question

WHERE IS YOUR STRONGEST ALLEGIANCE?

By Pastor Shadrack Ruto

http://www.upendochurch.org/

 

DEVOTION: WHERE IS YOUR STRONGEST ALLEGIANCE? 

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