On Sunday Shirley continued our sermon series on Nehamiah. She looked at Chapter Ch 5 v 1-19 Dealing with injustice- challenging others and personal response (29th Jan)
Shirley reminded us that the people building the wall had a greater glory in mind, and were working for the glory of God. She said there were three forms of opposition.
- While the people were working on rebuilding the walls , they were not able to earn money doing their normal jobs and were getting into debt as a result.
- People were having to mortgage lands and vineyards and houses in order to buy grain.
- We have borrowed money to pay the King’s taxes. they were even forcing their children to go into slavery
Nemehiah is angry when he hears this. his response is to ponder the matter. He responds by challenging the nobles and rulers. He says in verse 9 that what they were doing was wrong. God’s law in Leviticus 25:35-37 says that if any of their fellow Israelites became poor, they were to help them and not charge them any interest on any money they lent to them. This is not ambiguous!
After Nehemiah challenges them, they agree to give everything back, and not demand anything more from them. Nehemiah then summoned the priests and made the nobles and officials take an oath to do what they had promised.
Nehemiah acted in response to the cries of injustice from the people. At the end of this chapter Nehemiah prays to God and asks God to look on him with favour because of for all he has done for the people of Israel. Shirley challenged us to consider whether we could say this prayer for ourselves. Can you say ‘consider all that I have done to serve these people?’