In Nehemiah 13, the Lord’s felt compelled to return to Jerusalem, removing himself from the direct service of the king to address problems that arose in the ancient city. Previously, Nehemiah was in Jerusalem for a period of 12 years to encourage and spur on the people of Israel who came back from Babylonian captivity (by this time 2, maybe 3 generations were in place in Jerusalem). Yet, as is the case with each generation, there were people who were not only loyal to the Lord, but there also were people whose loyalty only went as deep at the leader leading them. With Nehemiah gone, the workers of Satan had begun to not only sow seeds of corruption of the pure ways of the Lord, but also to educate the children (via the parents) to speak a language.
“In those days also I saw the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. And half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and they could not speak the language of Judah, but only the language of each people” (Nehemiah 13:23-24, ESV)
Nehemiah was dismayed at this.
What is meant by that which we read? It means that corruption of God’s religion found a home in those where no home should have been given. In other words, that which was to reside in the heart (godly righteousness) was a spiritual teaching that came only from God. The people, however, struggling with spiritual laziness (as is even the case today), did not offer the resistance necessary to thwart the effort by Satan and his servants. The language spoken was a matter of education (cf. Jeremiah 50:6-7). The people residing in Jerusalem spoke a confused language, not confusing to understand, but a confusion of loyalty.
It is a lot like that today. There are many parents who struggle with finding a balance in raising children in an evil world and inculcating them (giving them a vaccination) against those teachers of a false religion, that which stands opposed to the Lord’s way.
How often does one hear a lament from parents concerning some being too religious? The language of Ashdod has begun to set in. In other words, there are some parents who want to be loyal to the Lord, but they want their children to enjoy life and the things associated with youth without being too religious, lest their friends turn away from them and the children begin to say that Christianity was crammed down my throat.
Can you relate? To some degree you probably can. Parents in the days of Nehemiah could, and because they could not find a balance, their children spoke a language that was confusing and corrupting.
What is the solution to such difficult matters? The answer is as simple as understanding what it is that one values most. As a parent (grandparent or new), that value you place on something, anything, will be which is taught to those who are paying attention. As you are, children are also very observant. RT