Nehemiah Faces Opposition through Exploitation

Download (right click and choose save as)


Sermon Notes

5 Now there was a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brothers. For there were those who said, “We, our sons, and our daughters are many; therefore let’s get grain so that we may eat and live.” And there were others who said, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards, and our houses so that we might get grain because of the famine.” There also were those who said, “We have borrowed money for the king’s tax on our fields and our vineyards. And now our flesh is like the flesh of our brothers, our children like their children. Yet behold, we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters are forced into bondage already, and we are helpless because our fields and vineyards belong to others.”

Then I was very angry when I heard their outcry and these words. So I thought it over and contended with the nobles and the leading people, and said to them, “You are lending at interest, each to his brother!” Therefore, I held a great assembly against them. And I said to them, “We, according to our ability, have redeemed our Jewish brothers who were sold to the nations; now would you even sell your brothers that they may be sold to us?” Then they were silent and could not find a word to say. So I said, “The thing which you are doing is not good; should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the taunting of the nations, our enemies? 10 And likewise I, my brothers, and my servants are lending them money and grain. Please, let’s do without this interest. 11 Please, give back to them this very day their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, as well as the hundredth part of the money and of the grain, the new wine, and the oil that you are charging as interest from them.” 12 Then they said, “We will give it back and will require nothing from them; we will do exactly as you say.” So I called the priests and made them take an oath to act in accordance with this promise. 13 I also shook out the front of my garment and said, “So may God shake out every person from his house and from his possessions who does not keep this promise; just so may he be shaken out and emptied.” And all the assembly said, “Amen!” And they praised the Lord. Then the people acted in accordance with this promise.