Saturday, February 18, 2017

February 18 - Nehemiah 5

Today's reading in our daily plan is Nehemiah 5. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Now that construction of the wall is progressing, other issues are beginning to surface.  The poorest in the community begin to cry out that no matter what they try to do they can not afford to live.  People even go so far as selling their children to a foreign kingdom to make ends meet.
  • Nehemiah finds out that the reason this is happening is because those in the community with the most are charging a sizeable tax ON TOP OF the taxes already required of the ruling King, King Artaxerxes.
  • Nehemiah confronts these rich nobles and convinces them to stop charging unnecessary interest which is keeping others in debt and to instead start taking care of the needy in their community.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • God is always calling us to care for our brother and our sister in need.  When we are in need, the church should be a safe place to ask for help.
  • When God has blessed us with more than we need, we should look around and see what we can do for those who have less.
  • It is NEVER okay to exploit someone else for your own greed.  Even though Nehemiah could've extracted a large tax to keep him comfortable and give him more than he'd ever need, he knew that everyone having enough was better than him having a lot.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Where do you see need in your life?
  • When you see someone else in need, do you take action or do you worry that the cost will be too high?
  • Have you ever gone to a third world country on a mission trip?  If not, maybe you should consider a Verve mission trip this year to Poland or building a house in Mexico.  There is a Poland informational meeting after church next Sunday.