“6 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 7 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. 8 I was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah’s household goods out of the room. 9 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.”NIV
The influence of certain people can be so great that by their very presence they restrain evil. Nehemiah was ‘salt’ and ‘light’ in Jerusalem. The issue we looked at yesterday, with Tobiah being given a room in the temple, would not have happened if Nehemiah had still been around. That seems to be the inference. Upon his return he took decisive action to restore the room to it’s proper use. He didn’t tone down his message, but was prepared to label Eliashib’s actions correctly as ‘’evil’’ (7). Sometimes leaders have to do that sort of thing. There is a legitimate place for ‘tough love’. This story is reminiscent of Jesus cleansing the temple.