A great outcry came to Nehemiah’s attention. This time it wasn’t an enemy but the Jewish brothers who were causing the people pain.
Remember – the people working on the wall had other occupations. They were merchants, perfumers, etc. They fed their families with the money they earned from those jobs.
But they are now spending their days rebuilding and restoring Jerusalem. On top of that there is a famine and food prices have increased. And what do the Jewish brothers who are not working on the wall do?
👉 They force the hungry families – their Jewish brothers – to:
• mortgage properties (v 3)
• go into debt to pay taxes (v 4)
• send their children into slavery (v 5)
• pay interest to their brothers (v 7)
👉 Here we see more admirable character traits in Nehemiah.
• He was angered by injustice around him (v 6). [People being mistreated and taken advantage of did not sit well with Nehemiah.]
• He confronted injustice around him (v 7-9). [Nehemiah verbally stood up to those in the wrong and clearly told them, “The thing you are doing is not good.” He wasn’t afraid to speak against common practices.]
• He was generous (v 15). [As governor of Judah, Nehemiah was entitled to a food allowance. This would have put an additional burden on an already struggling population.]
👉 Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people (v 19).
I love this prayer.
Nehemiah risked a lot to obey God’s call to the work. He sacrificed a lot while doing the work. He gave up and lost things behind the scenes that those around him didn’t know about.
In this prayer is an understanding that God sees what people don’t and repays in ways the world can’t.
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord and he [the Lord] will repay him for his deed. (Proverbs 19:17)
Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people.
Have a great day! You are loved.