December 18, Reading 1 – Nehemiah 5

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Once Jerusalem is secure with a half-built wall, Nehemiah looks out for the poor of the land, those most vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Verse 15 tells us what made Nehemiah a different sort of public official or bureaucrat to the norm. God grant us such a bureaucracy.

SJA Notes

“So I said, ‘This thing that you are doing is not good. Ought you not to walk in the fear of our God to prevent the taunts of the nations our enemies?'”

Here is a rebuke done right.

Look at Nehemiah’s words. They are bold and clear, they point to God’s wisdom and His ways.

He calls them out with graciousness,

“Let us abandon this exacting of interest.”

Some of God’s people were forcing others of God’s people into slavery. They were extorting money, exacting interest.

Nehemiah calls on them to stop this, and to return what they had taken.

Let us strive to be more like Nehemiah in whatever spheres of influence the Lord has placed us in. Humble, contrite, bold and fearless – Just as our Lord and Saviour Jesus was.

“Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people.”

* God Above,

Please mark us as a people faithful to You and Your wisdom, Your word written on our hearts.

Thank You for the witness of Nehemiah.

Thank You most of all for the pattern and example of Jesus, God the Son, become flesh.

Amen.

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