Nehemiah 5 Stopping Oppression (audio link for download)
Last week: three sources of opposition: the world the flesh and the devil.
Did anyone encounter any opposition this week from those sources where you were able to realize it, and apply scripture to the situation?
This week the passage is in between the two chapters on opposition and addresses an opposition of sorts that comes from within the walls. You see, as Nehemiah is building the wall life is still having to go on for the inhabitants of the city, and they a sacrificing a lot to be a part of the rebuilding. Today is a reminder from Nehemiah that seeking the welfare of the people of Judah is more than rebuilding physical walls. He is presented with a challenge and he corrects the people, he loves the people, and sacrifices for the people.
Nehemiah corrects the people:
The were those who were taking advantage of the situation. Many exiles had been brought back to Jerusalem and were poor. Those who were not poor we’re lending money and goods to the poor, but they were not doing it out of love, they were doing it for selfish gain. They were making money off the backs of the poor. The worst part about it seems to be not that they were doing it, but that they were doing it to their brothers.
Nehemiah loves the people:
Nehemiah was not an uncaring leader. You can tell by the reaction he has to the cries of the people that he cares for them and is outraged at the injustice being done to them. He says he was angry at their words and took charges against the nobles.
Nehemiah sacrifices for the people:
Nehemiah was the governor of the land, and yet he did not take the food allowance that he was rightly entitled to. Instead he fed 150 men Avery day at his own expense. Not withholding good meat and wine as well. He sacrificed his own funds, and comforts and rights for the good of the people.
Are you wondering why did Nehemiah do all this? Think about it for a minute. What was his motivation? You may have seen it, it is in the chapter several times.
Look at verses 9,15, and 19.
What is motivating Nehemiah’s correction, love and sacrifice is a fear of God. He was a man gripped by the power and majesty of God. He had seen God move the heart of the most powerful king in the world. He had seen God move an entire city to pick up and work to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. He was a man of prayer and he was a man who knew e word. He knew the purpose of this city was ultimately God’s purpose to gather a people to himself, not for rich nobles to crush the backs of the poor. The purpose was for God’s glory that would soon be displayed in the person and work of Jesus Christ. The one who would come and also correct the people, love the people, and make the ultimate sacrifice for His people, because He feared God and sought God’s glory above His own.