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Nehemiah 5-7


A Devotional Journey
 led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
            The economic situation in Jerusalem had been part of the reason for Nehemiah’s original concern.  Now it seems to be impinging on the work of reconstruction, so he calls a meeting of everyone involved.  The fact that this project was intended to be swift (it took only 52 days from start to finish according to 6:15), makes it even clearer that the problem must have been severe or it would have been addressed after the wall was finished.
            The groups with needs are the landless (5:2) who are short of food, the land owners who have been forced to mortgage their property, and others who have been forced to borrow money at high rates of interest and even sell their children into slavery in order to survive.  When Nehemiah confronts the nobles and rulers of the people, they had nothing to say.  Nehemiah demands change and those involved seem remorseful promising to do as he says, even taking an oath to that effect.  Nehemiah recounts how he has provided for many of the people himself and asks God to remember him for this.
            Additional opposition arises from Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem, but Nehemiah and his people continues in spite of it.  Although they try to trick him into meeting with them so they may do him harm, he perceives this and refuses to come, even though the invitation is given 5 times!
            After failing in their efforts to get at Nehemiah directly, his enemies try to frighten him by threatening to slander him to the king.  Nehemiah stands firm, seeking strength from God in prayer, working on until the wall is complete.  Even though some of his own people have plotted against the effort it is finally successful, and after recording its completion, Nehemiah presents a list of those who had returned to Jerusalem and supported the effort.
            Do you ever feel opposition when you are working to do the right thing?  Sometimes it may be jealousy; sometimes misunderstanding; sometimes the fact that in doing what is right you expose what is wrong.  There never was a worthy project without people who wanted to cut it short, take it over or laugh it off.
            Today, ask yourself:  from where does your strength come?  Are you following God’s will yourself?  Are you ever the one opposing others who are trying to carry it our?  Do you ever allow your own feelings of being left out, overlooked or unappreciated cause you to resist what you would otherwise recognize as a good thing?
            Ask God to help you do His will today.  Start a project for Him or continue working on one, perhaps by building a wall around the standards He wants in your life.  God’s blessing and support is always available to those who will follow Him, and He always frustrates the efforts of those who oppose His will.

© A. Eugene Pearson 2010