Nehemiah and the Wall: His People Forgive

We’ve seen over the past four devotions how Nehemiah rebuilt the wall around the city of Jerusalem. We looked at how he prayed before starting, then at his initial inspection of the walls, and at how his enemies plotted against him, and how he kept working anyway. Now we will see how he handled his people when they found themselves in another bad situation.

Nehemiah 5 New King James Version (NKJV)

1 And there was a great outcry of the people and their wives against their Jewish brethren. 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.”

And I became very angry when I heard their outcry and these words. After serious thought, I rebuked the nobles and rulers, and said to them, “Each of you is exacting usury from his brother.” So I called a great assembly against them. And I said to them, “According to our ability we have redeemed our Jewish brethren who were sold to the nations. Now indeed, will you even sell your brethren? Or should they be sold to us?”

Then they were silenced and found nothing to say. 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? 10 I also, with my brethren and my servants, am lending them money and grain. Please, let us stop this usury! 11 Restore now to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, also a hundredth of the money and the grain, the new wine and the oil, that you have charged them.”

12 So they said, “We will restore it, and will require nothing from them; we will do as you say.”

Then I called the priests, and required an oath from them that they would do according to this promise. 13 Then I shook out the fold of my garment and said, “So may God shake out each man from his house, and from his property, who does not perform this promise. Even thus may he be shaken out and emptied.”

And all the assembly said, “Amen!” and praised the Lord. Then the people did according to this promise. Read more

Nehemiah and the Wall: His Work Resumes

Even confronted with enemies more powerful and numerous than him, Nehemiah kept doing God’s work. His faith that the Lord would protect the work and bless them kept him going. We have seen how he answered the call to action, how He started the inspection and his response to the enemies plot. Now we will look at his continued efforts, not letting anything slow him down. Not even the threats of a powerful enemy.

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Nehemiah and the Wall: His Journey and Inspection

Yesterday we looked at Nehemiah’s call to action and his prayer when he heard of the state of the walls of Jerusalem. We saw how he responded, with fasting and prayer, and prepared himself to do what was needed. Today we see the result of Nehemiah’s fasting and prayer, how God blessed him, and we will see his first actions upon arriving at the Holy City Read more

A Just & Loving God: No Condemnation

This is the final part of my series of A Just & Loving God. First we reconciled a just, yet loving God. Then we looked at why Jesus had to die on the cross. Then we took at look at the question “is Hell real?” and the natural response of who goes to Hell and who goes to Heaven. Now, we are going one step further as to why the true Christian goes to Heaven, and not Hell. Read more

A Just & Loving God: Who Goes To Heaven & Hell?

We have seen how God reconciles being perfectly just and perfectly loving,  by setting down the rules and punishments, and abiding by them, and providing a way for mercy in the rules. We have seen why Jesus had to die on the cross for our Sins, instead of God just letting us do whatever we want and going to Heaven anyway. We have also seen whether or not a literal place such as Hell exists But then the question must arise, “Who goes to Heaven, and who goes to Hell?”

Matthew 7:13-23 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Read more