Book / 15 / 220 chapter - 5
And there was a great outcry of the people and their wives against their Jewish brethren. (Nehemiah 5:1)
The internal problem Nehemiah faces has to deal with the division between rich and poor. The enemy inside is often more dangerous than the enemy outside.
For there were those who said, “We, our sons, and our daughters are many; therefore let us get grain, that we may eat and live.”
There were also some who said, “We have mortgaged our lands and vineyards and houses, that we might buy grain because of the famine.”
There were also those who said, “We have borrowed money for the king’s tax on our lands and vineyards.
Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children; and indeed we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have been brought into slavery. It is not in our power to redeem them,for other men have our lands and vineyards.” (Nehemiah 5:1-5)
Destruction and despair marks the opening verses in Nehemiah 5:1-5. The internal enemy is potentially more dangerous than the others because it threatens their unity.
It is the age-old gap between the rich and the poor. Instead of the rich Jewish leaders in Jerusalem helping their Jewish brothers, they were exploiting the poor.
Many of the Jews who had returned from Babylonian captivity came back well off financially (Ezra 1:11; 2 Chronicles. 36:18). People gave generously when the Temple was rebuilt (Nehemiah 7:71-72).
Then I said, “What you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies? (Nehemiah 5:9)
We need to stop calling the world to repent until we repent ourselves. Integrity begins at home. Judgment must begin in the house of the Lord. Nehemiah confronts the leaders and tells them that what they are doing is not right in the eyes of God.
The nobles in Jerusalem were disobeying the Word of God (Lev. 25:35-41; 23:19-20; Deuteronomy 23:19). We are held under stricter demands than the lost world. One day we will all stand before the Lord to answer Him.
Remember me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people. (Nehemiah 5:19)
This was a prayer by Nehemiah to the Lord.