Written by – Antione Harvis
The Jewish men and their wives were in a very difficult situation. There was a food shortage. People were struggling to feed their families. They were having to borrow just to pay the king’s taxes on their fields and vineyards and mortgaging them along with their homes; going into debt just to buy grain. They were already being taken advantage of by the Gentiles and now their own people (covenant brethren) were beginning to take advantage in the same way by charging interest on what was borrowed.
When Nehemiah heard this, an anger arose within him. In addition to helping his people rescue their family members from slavery to the Gentiles, he charged his Jewish brethren to put a stop to charging interest and moreover to give it all back!
So many people today are being constantly oppressed by the world we live in. People are being enslaved to their schedules, ungodly loyalties, to worldly desires, lusts and so much more. So many of us are allowing the “way of the world” to dictate how we “do life” rather than approach it as people of the Kingdom of God. As God’s Ambassadors, we must be alert to state the position of the Kingdom as Nehemiah did here; we must demonstrate God’s Love and help others when they are in need. We must be careful, if we are in positions of natural authority not to bring oppression on others but moreover in our thoughts and approach towards one another.
Jesus is our great example of our ambassadorship in the earth. We are citizens of heaven. Our constitution is infallible. We have a King who is absolutely righteous and cannot be anything less. By His grace, he has demonstrated more care for us than we can show to ourselves. Freely we have received, therefore we must freely give!