Nehemiah 5 part 1–Don’t Take Advantage of Each Other

When living in community,It is incumbant on the chosen to treat each other with respect and with kindness.  The people of Jerusalem  had lost sight of that.  The nobels and the wealthy had built a cottage industry around loaning money to the pooor to pay taxes and fees.  The poor would have to work and sell their crops simply to pay back loans to their rich counterparts.  The  in terest rates and fees they were being chaged by their brothers were keeping them from ever improving their lot.  Nehemiah was saddened and ashamed to see brothers taking advantage of eachother.  He called the nobles together and told them to knock it  off.  Amazingly the nobles heard the message and stopped the practice.
 
It is very hard sometimes to look beyond one’s personal needs and empire. If something seems like a  good business, people dive in not considering the impact it may have on their own brothers and sisters.  We have to consider the needs of those around us as important as our own.   We have to remember we are a people saved by grace, and that grace must be extended to others.  If we are not kind and generous, how can we expect God to be kind and generous to us.  Pual said it best in Philippians 2, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain cnceit–but, in humility consider others better than yourself.  Do not only look out for your own interest, but also the interest of others.  Have the same attitude as Christ!”
 
God Bless You

 

Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their fellow Jews. Some were saying, “We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain.”

Others were saying, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine.”

Still others were saying, “We have had to borrow money to pay the king’s tax on our fields and vineyards. Although we are of the same flesh and blood as our fellow Jews and though our children are as good as theirs, yet we have to subject our sons and daughters to slavery. Some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but we are powerless, because our fields and our vineyards belong to others.”

When I heard their outcry and these charges, I was very angry. I pondered them in my mind and then accused the nobles and officials. I told them, “You are charging your own people interest!” So I called together a large meeting to deal with them and said: “As far as possible, we have bought back our fellow Jews who were sold to the Gentiles. Now you are selling your own people, only for them to be sold back to us!” They kept quiet, because they could find nothing to say.

So I continued, “What you are doing is not right. Shouldn’t you walk in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach of our Gentile enemies? 10 I and my brothers and my men are also lending the people money and grain. But let us stop charging interest! 11 Give back to them immediately their fields, vineyards, olive groves and houses, and also the interest you are charging them—one percent of the money, grain, new wine and olive oil.”

12 “We will give it back,” they said. “And we will not demand anything more from them. We will do as you say.”

Author: Michael Smith

This is an amazing Journey. I hope you will hear from the Lord, as you seek Him with your heart. Matthew 6:33

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