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The Book of Nehemiah Chapter 5 (5 of 13)
1 And there was a great cry of the people and of their
wives against their brethren the Jews.
Now we have the problem of inward division in the
The greatest problem of all church work and in revival
is to get people to stay in harmony. Oftentimes
pettiness and self-interest causes a groundswell of
resentment and division which can devastate any work.
2 For there were that said, We, our sons, and our
daughters, [are] many: therefore we take up corn [for
them], that we may eat, and live.
3 [Some] also there were that said, We have mortgaged
our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy
corn, because of the dearth.
4 There were also that said, We have borrowed money
for the king's tribute, [and that upon] our lands and
5 Yet now our flesh [is] as the flesh of our brethren,
our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into
bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and
[some] of our daughters are brought unto bondage
[already]: neither [is it] in our power [to redeem
them]; for other men have our lands and vineyards.
Here are the problems.
1) First of all, there was a food shortage and the
people needed to eat.
2) Second, because the work on the wall was the
priority many who planted crops lost them and had to
mortgage everything to buy food to eat.
3) Third, many borrowed money from their brethren to
pay for property tax to the king and they did it, no
doubt, at inflated prices.
4) Forth, to pay their creditors, (their brethren, if
you please) they had to sell their children into
slavery!! These people were powerless to redeem their
children or their property back from these Jews, who
took advantage of their poor brethren.
6 And I was very angry when I heard their cry and
Nehemiah's action was swift and correct. First of all,
he was angry, very angry. Injustice in the camp should
be met with anger.
7 Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the
nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact
usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great
assembly against them.
The second thing Nehemiah did was to consider where
the problem was and his course of action. Because he
was angry did not mean he needed to be headstrong and
loose his objectivity. The third thing he did was to
go to the SOURCE of the problem. Nehemiah rebuked the
nobles for charging interest to their own brothers.
This was a violation of Exodus 22:25, Leviticus 25:35-
38 and Deuteronomy 23:19-20. They could only exact
interest from strangers but not their brothers.
8 And I said unto them, We after our ability have
redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto
the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or
shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their
peace, and found nothing [to answer].
They redeemed these Je ...
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