The Book of Nehemiah begins and ends with faith. Faith, no matter its size, can remove mountains and it can restore broken walls. Take this Journey to learn how to restore your city through prayer and God’s Word.
So I made the leaders promise in front of the priests to give back the property. 13Then I emptied my pockets and said, "If you don't keep your promise, that's what God will do to you. He will empty out everything you own, even taking away your houses." Read More
The people answered, "We will keep our promise." Then they praised the LORD and did as they had promised.
People who lack integrity cannot be taken at their word. So although the rich people had already promised to right the wrongs they had committed, Nehemiah still made them stand in front of the priests and promise to give back the properties they had taken away. To further drive his point home, he emptied his pockets and told them that God would do the same to them if they reneged on their word. They agreed to what he said and followed through on their promise.
Living in community requires that we place self interest aside and make a commitment to seek the good of the whole group. Unfortunately, our behavior is oftentimes similar to the rich leaders. And, like Nehemiah, our society has to legislate our actions so that each of us can enjoy the benefits that community living has to offer. God is grieved when we take advantage of one another, and he sends this message: “Warn the rich people of this world not to be proud or to trust in wealth that is easily lost. Tell them to have faith in God, who is rich and blesses us with everything we need to enjoy life” (1Timothy 6:17).
How do you think God responds to oppression today? Do you know anyone who acts like the rich leaders? What can you say or do to effect change?
Have you ever benefitted financially at the expense of others? If you have, ask God to forgive you and change your behavior. Find ways of offering restitution.
Lord, make me a person of integrity who can be trusted, not only with financial matters, but also with sharing your glorious gospel.
After nearly 200 years of ongoing ministry, the American Bible Society continues to invite people to experience the life-changing message of the Bible. Offering an increasing range of innovative ministries to address core life questions and struggles, the Bible Society works alongside ministry partners, Christian churches and national Bible societies to share God's Word both in the United States and around the globe.
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