Tag: Nehemiah 5-8:1

Shake out the unfaithful!

Scripture reading for May 10th: Nehemiah 5-8:1

Wise and godly leaders stand firmly against injustice!  Our sinful tendencies lead us relentlessly towards selfishness and taking advantage of those who are in need, in crisis or weak.  Slavery in America is an example of these selfish and sinful tendencies.  Slaves were bought and sold to build wealth for those they served.  Slaves did jobs that their owners did not want to do themselves.   Slaves were treated well by some and harshly and cruelly by others.  Injustice in this system led some leaders to take action and a civil war resulted over this issue.

Nehemiah faced injustice among his own people.  Taxes were high in Jerusalem and the Jews had to pay them to the Persian king.  Their brothers who had money were loaning to the Jews who had no money.  Mortgages were taken on the fields and vineyards and even their homes.  Sons and daughters were being sold into slavery because of the usury among the Israelites.  An outcry because of this injustice reached Nehemiah. (Nehemiah 5:6-7)   Calling a meeting of all those involved,  he accused those with money of their sin, commanded them to stop these practices!  (Nehemiah 5:9-11)  They publicly agreed to do so.   He charged the priests and nobles to take an oath to do what they had promised in response to his accusation.  He even shook out his own robe and prayed, “In this way may God shake out of his house and possessions every man who does not keep this promise.  So may such a man be shaken out and emptied!” Nehemiah 5:13

God’s people must beware of injustice, even in their own house!  Sin and selfishness can cause us to take advantage of others.  We can abuse or neglect the poor and the weak.  We must not manipulate or enslave others by our selfishness.  Spiritual leaders and pastors must guard their hearts against manipulation and injustice caused by selfishness.  Slavery comes when our sons and daughters go into captivity because of injustice in God’s house among God’s people!  Righteous leaders are watchful and take direct action when they know about it!  Pray today for those in authority and let them know of any injustice among God’s people!

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Opposing injustice!

Scripture reading for May 10th: Nehemiah 5-8:1

Wise and godly leaders stand firmly against injustice!  Our sinful tendencies lead us relentlessly towards selfishness and taking advantage of those who are in need or in crisis or weak.  Slavery in America is an example of these selfish and sinful tendencies.  Slaves were bought and sold to build wealth for those they served.  Slaves did jobs that their owners did not want to do themselves.   Slaves were treated well by some and harshly and cruelly by others.  Injustice in this system led President Lincoln to take action and a civil war resulted over this issue.

Nehemiah faced injustice in his day among his own people.  Taxes were high in Jerusalem and the Jews had to pay them to the Persian king.  Their brothers who had money were loaning to the  Jews who had no money.  Mortgages were taken on the fields, vineyards and even homes.  Sons and daughters were being sold into slavery because of the usury that was going on among the Israelites.  An outcry because of this injustice reached Nehemiah and he pondered this problem and the resulting enslavement. (Nehemiah 5:6-7)   Calling a meeting of all those involved and commanded them to stop their selfishness and walk in the fear of God!  (Nehemiah 5:9-11)  They publicly agreed to do so.   He charged the priests and nobles to take an oath to do what they had promised in response to his accusation.  He shook out his own robe and prayed, “In this way may God shake out of his house and possessions every man who does not keep this promise.  So may such a man be shaken out and emptied!” Nehemiah 5:13

God’s people must beware of injustice, even in their own house!  Sin and selfishness can cause us to take advantage of others.  We can abuse or neglect the poor and the weak.  We must not manipulate or enslave others by our selfishness.  Spiritual leaders and pastors must guard their hearts in how they encourage giving.  Sometimes, manipulation and injustice takes place among God’s people through selfish leaders.  Slavery can come when our sons and daughters go into captivity because of injustice in God’s house among God’s people!  Righteous leaders are watchful and take direct action when they know about it!  Pray today for those in authority and let them know of any injustice among God’s people!

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Confronting Sin in the Camp

Scripture reading for May 11th: Nehemiah 5-8:1

Good leaders confront the issues of sin in their midst.  This is not always popular with those who are involved in the sins, but it helps those in the community by bringing justice.  Purity always results in God’s blessings on the people.  Sin brings judgment and heartaches.  Today’s reading finds Nehemiah dealing with the issue of unfair lending practices among the exiles.  Let’s learn how he confronted the issue and brought cleansing and blessing to his people.

An outcry went up to Nehemiah from people who were suffering because their brothers were taking advantage of them with high-interest loans.  They needed money to pay taxes and conduct their business and even to buy food during a famine.  The nobles with money made them put up their fields and even their children for the loans.  They lost their fields and their children went into slavery.  (Nehemiah 5:1-5)

On hearing this, Nehemiah became angry with the nobles.  He called a large meeting and confronted the problem openly.  The nobles were quiet because the charges were true.  He called them to cease the interest and return the property and interest.  He made them take an oath that they would follow through with their promise to do what he asked.  (Nehemiah 5:6-14)  This made the whole assembly rejoice and they praised the Lord!

Nehemiah was the appointed governor and could have taken supplies and taxes from the people as others had done.  But he chose to work on the wall himself. He fed his men and those helping him from his own supplies.  He was compassionate towards those he governed and trusted God for a reward for his sacrifice.  (Nehemiah 5:14-19)

As we look at this story of Nehemiah’s leadership, we see how confronting the sin of usury openly brought justice and repentance.  This resulted in the people praising the Lord.  Nehemiah did not correct the people and then set a bad example himself.  He was also mindful of his need to help them as an example of a servant leader.  He did not tell them to do one thing and then do the opposite himself.  Living consistently with your talk and walk in agreement brings great power to help others change, too.  Joy results when rulers rule with justice!

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Opposing injustice!

Scripture reading for May 11th: Nehemiah 5-8:1

Wise and godly leaders stand firmly against injustice!  Our sinful tendencies lead us relentlessly towards selfishness and taking advantage of those who are in need or in crisis or weak.  They lead us to gaining an advantage for ourselves at the expense of another.  Slavery in America is an example of these selfish and sinful tendencies.  Slaves were bought and sold to build wealth for those they served.  Slaves did jobs that their owners did not want to do themselves.   Slaves were treated well by some and harshly and cruelly by others.  Injustice in this system led some leaders to take action and a civil war resulted over this issue that cost the lives of many Americans and many who named the name of Christ on both sides of this issue.

Nehemiah faced injustice in his day among his own people.  Taxes were high in Jerusalem and the Jews had to pay them to the Persian king.  Their brothers who had money were loaning to these Jews who had no money.  Mortgages were taken on the fields and vineyards and even their homes.  Even sons and daughters were being sold into slavery because of the usury that was going on among the Israelites.  An outcry because of this injustice reached Nehemiah and he pondered this problem of usury and the resulting enslavement. (Nehemiah 5:6-7)   Calling a meeting of all those involved,  he accused those with money of their sin, commanded them to stop these practices, and called them to walk in the fear of God!  (Nehemiah 5:9-11)  They publicly agreed to do so.   He charged the priests and nobles to take an oath to do what they had promised in response to his accusation.  He even shook out his own robe and prayed, “In this way may God shake out of his house and possessions every man who does not keep this promise.  So may such a man be shaken out and emptied!” Nehemiah 5:13

God’s people must beware of injustice, even in their own house!  Sin and selfishness can cause us to take advantage of others.  We can abuse or neglect the poor and the weak.  We must not manipulate or enslave others by our selfishness.  Spiritual leaders and pastors must guard their hearts in how they encourage giving.  Sometimes, manipulation and injustice takes place among God’s people through selfish leaders.  Slavery today comes when our sons and daughters go into captivity because of injustice in God’s house among God’s people!  Righteous leaders are watchful and take direct action when they know about it!  Pray today for those in authority and let them know of any injustice among God’s people!

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