Summary: When the enemy can’t seem to win with external force, he will result to internal conflict.
* When the enemy can’t seem to win with external force, he will result to internal conflict.
About this time some of the men and their wives raised a cry of protest against their fellow Jews.
* Nehemiah was angry because:
They were taking advantage of those in need
Their lives were marked by ambition, materialism, opportunism, greed and selfishness.
Yet we must sell our children into slavery just to get enough money to live. We have already sold some of our daughters, and we are helpless to do anything about it, for our fields and vineyards are already mortgaged to others.
James 3:16 - For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
The abuse was against their own countrymen
“You are oppressing your own relatives by charging them interest when they borrow money!”
In their quest for money, position and power, they hurt those closest to them.
From slavery to slavery
“The rest of us are doing all we can to redeem our Jewish relatives who have had to sell themselves to pagan foreigners, but you are selling them back into slavery again. How often must we redeem them?”
What is the “sinful nature”?
Trying to please God through religion and legalism (vs. 2-4).
“What you are doing is not right! Should you not walk in the fear of our God in order to avoid being mocked by enemy nations? 10 I myself, as well as my brothers and my workers, have been lending the people money and grain, but now let us stop this business of loans. 11 You must restore their fields, vineyards, olive groves, and homes to them this very day. Repay the interest you charged on their money, grain, wine, and olive oil.”
We need courage today. We need conviction. The church no longer has a good name in the world, and the world is passing it by. The spiritual movement that is emerging is largely outside the organized church. Christians have been playing church. The controlling group in the church has been having a good time, but they are not reaching the lost, and the world is passing by uninterested.
God is into Relationships!
Nehemiah’s message was to restore everything to preserve the relationship.
Matthew 22:37-40 - ”‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
John 13:34 - “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
When it’s all said and done, the only thing that will last for eternity is our relationship with God and our relationship with others.