July 5, 2018: Day 82 – Nehemiah 5

I warned you that the nobles were about to get what was due to them.  So here was the problem, and to our 21st century ears it not only doesn’t make any sense, it sounds barbaric.  What was happening is that the noble families when they had moved back from being in captivity, had taken over the vast majority of the land and then made their own people work for them.  They then gathered the taxes and gathered the crops from their own people.  But it got worse.  They also bought and sold their own people. This was normal for that period of time, but Nehemiah says it is not what the Lord requires or wants.  

He gathers all the people together and tells them that this is not what the Lord would want from them.  The nobles listened and agreed to no longer charge interest, to no longer enslave their own people.  At the end of this chapter Nehemiah also calls attention to what a good person he is.  He had every right to demand the provisions that a governor was due.  But he did not because, he said, that he saw the plight of his people and it was not right that he took the goods from the land while they starved.  He asked the Lord to remember this and remember what a good a person he was.  A little humility might have been more appropriate.  

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