“And it grieved me bitterly; therefore I threw all the household goods of Tobiah out of the room.”
Jesus, speaking figuratively, said if our hand causes us to sin we should cut it off, and If our eye causes us to sin we should pluck it out (Matthew 18:8-9). Essentially, He was saying we should take radical action against personal sin. As the book of Nehemiah comes to a close, we see Nehemiah doing just that. He has seen the devastating effects sin has on an individual and a nation, and decides it is time to take a radical stance against sin.
The people had begun to compromise their relationship with the Lord by getting involved with the “mixed multitudes.” These were people who pretended to be committed to the Lord, but lived after the standards of the world. They would show up at the feasts and Sabbath days, but during the rest of the week they behaved like the pagan nations that surrounded Israel. Some of their actions included violating the Sabbath, living for the values of this world, and committing sexual sins. Those who associated with them, soon became like them.
Knowing the dangers of compromise, Nehemiah took some pretty serious actions. We read, he threw Tobiah out of the Temple mount, he contended with the rulers, shut the gates of the city on the Sabbath, and even pulled the hair out the beards and heads of those who withstood him.
I am not suggesting that we go on a rampage ripping the hair out of those who refuse to walk with the Lord. However, I do think it is a good idea to examine our relationship with Christ, discover the factors which keep us from following and serving Him, and remove them. As each day passes, our salvation draws nearer and nearer. It is time we took our Christianity seriously by taking a radical stance against sin.