Vol.5, No. 32 – August 23, 2020
Effectively handling the Problems Life Brings — Nehemiah 5:1-13
Now there arose a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brothers. –Nehemiah 5:1
When groups of “me-centered” people get their underwear in a wad, they want to take a control that is not theirs to take.
As the historically famous swamp philosopher, Pogo, once said: “We have met the enemy, and he is us!”
This chapter begins with what sounds like a union meeting. The self-proclaimed leaders at the Union Hall, Local #51, shout, STRIKE! They are shouting slogans about unfair labor practices. They are no longer going to build the walls, nor will they fight the enemy. They want benefits as if 30-year employees, including top wages even at entry level (national guaranteed annual income). Their eyes are now off the objective. Nehemiah’s “army” is being ripped apart from within.
There is a polarization and internal strife, as the “working classes” (the have-nots), are exploited by the “haves.” “We had it better under Pharaoh.”
If someone wants to destroy a work in progress, or wreck a work, one will be most effective sowing seeds of discord within.
Nehemiah gives instant reaction (5:6-12).
- I was angry when I heard this. The Hebrew word is strong, he is infuriated, incensed, his emotional index is so high that he blows a gasket! These liberal “it is all about me” people need some severe restraints. He contemplates a one-man war of abuse.
- I consulted with myself. Nehemiah takes time out to cool off and get his emotions under control. He needs some elbowroom to ease the tension. He needs to see the big picture; plan a course of action.
- I beg of you, overlords, stop this business of usury. Do it . . . do it now . . . do it openly . . . do it this very day! Do not call a committee meeting. Do not disguise it in prayer. Do not have a town hall meeting to discuss pros and cons. Nehemiah goes for the jugular.
- So I said. His dogmatic statements face the critical problems head-on, and quickly bring about a sweeping solution. For twelve years, Nehemiah demonstrated honesty in his administration. Nehemiah has not shed his influence for righteous living.
The “haves” respond. We will restore, we will do what you need (12). We have not only broken the laws of God, but we have broken the spirit of our people! Forgive us and we will make it right.
Restoration and making right the wrongs to brothers and sisters in Christ is one of the first steps to revival, both economically, and spiritually.
God is always glorified when we do what is right . . . in the right way . . . and with the right motives.
The eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you, nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. –1 Corinthians 12:21-26
Handling effectively the problems and opportunities, that life brings!