written by Joseph Murray
Helping those in need
5 Now there arose a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brothers. 2 For there were those who said, “With our sons and our daughters, we are many. So, let us get grain, that we may eat and keep alive.” 3 There were also those who said, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards, and our houses to get grain because of the famine.” 4 And there were those who said, “We have borrowed money for the king’s tax on our fields and our vineyards. 5 Now our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children are as their children. Yet we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but it is not in our power to help it, for other men have our fields and our vineyards.”
As we look in the 5th chapter of Nehemiah we find that needs of Jerusalem exceeded far beyond the walls surrounding the city. Not only had the city of Jerusalem found its self in physical ruins, but the people of the city were in worse condition. Those who had sworn and been designated to execute the decree of the king and the care of the people had taken advantage of their position and lost focus on what mattered most, Gods people. The people of Jerusalem had found themselves in cycle of oppression. Nehemiah was again moved to respond for the honor of God and the Love of his people.
- Nehemiah’s brokenness of crisis that the people were in.
“I was very angry when I heard their outcry and these words.” – Nehemiah 5:6
When Nehemiah heard about the conditions of the people, it moved him to strong emotion. Nehemiah recognized that until all of Gods people where supported and treated fairly then Gods love for his people was not being manifested.
We should take an opportunity to pray and listen about the conditions of those in need around us. Are we passionate about the needs of Gods people?
- Restoration / Accountability
“10 Moreover, I and my brothers and my servants are lending them money and grain. Let us abandon this exacting of interest. “-Nehemiah 5:10
Nehemiah not only sought to restore dignity and equality of all the people of Jerusalem, he knew he had to lead the efforts himself. Not only that he sought to join with others brother that would help restore the Love of God on his people.
As we prepare to partner with our neighbors and serve our community on March 3rd Let us take an opportunity to prepare our hearts. Let us focus on the things that matter, the people. Our resources, including our time all belong to the Lord to be used to first give him Glory and secondly to manifest that glory with others on the earth. What better way to show the light of God than helping others who are in need.