Lessons from Nehemiah 5
- Giving freely-The richer Jews were looting their own people, because some were poorer, they couldn't pay taxes, the richer Jews were lending them money to such a point that their fellow Jews could not pay them back and had to send away their children to be slaves of the rich Jews. For us, in our spiritual life, just because we've been blessed with God's rich blessings of faith and power, it does not mean we exact money from others so that they may receive God's blessings through us. The Word of God says in Matthew 10:8 "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give." If God has blessed us with the riches of His anointing to bless others, let us give freely what we have received freely from our Living God. Jesus never charged anyone for the miracles or messages He shared with us. They were open tent meetings. Why do we exact usury from our own people?
- Dealing with the issues that are wrong-Its great to not walk in paths of wrong, but it is not great to be silent when we see something wrong is being done and we are aware of it. Nehemiah was set as leader during the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem and when he came to know of the outcry of the poor Jews against the other Jews, he immediately called and meeting and dealt with those who were doing wrong. If we know and see something wrong happening before us, we must take a stand and deal with it. When Jesus saw the merchants selling in the temple of the Living God, he overturned their tables. He could have left it to God to punish them, or called fire and destroyed it, but he went in and dealt with them, overthrowing their tables. I am too complacent in such matters and this is a lesson for me to not keep quiet at wrong but to deal with it, voice it.
- Live an exemplary life-Though Nehemiah dealt with the Jews who were cheating their own brothers, he didn't stop at that; when he became the governor, he did not do the things the other governors had done before. He showed righteous living by example and nothing can talk more powerfully than a life that can demonstrate what is right.
Conclusion:It is very easy to go with the flow, but never easy to swim upstream. If Jesus would have thought, "Oh standing against the Sanhedrin and the religious heads will be too difficult, let me just secretly share whatever God wants me to share and get out of here without offending anyone" We would never have celebrated the Resurrection day ever. Jesus stood for what is right, what is noble. He not only preached the truth, but also dealt with wrong, not living in shadows of complacency but challenging the officials who presented their knowledge of the texts, by living out loud, the truth He believed and shared.
I am happy for the many preachers who have built up international ministries, but I am totally impressed by the disciples of Lord Jesus Christ, who went out to preach with just their shoes and whatever clothes they had on. Walking by faith and freely sharing what they had freely received from Lord Jesus.