Nehemiah – Building Unity Through Generosity
In Nehemiah Chapter 5, we find that there was financial exploitation of the poor and vulnerable, land grabbing, property usurping and extortion. There was great misery and fatigue as the people faced such oppression from their fellow brethren who were bent by the burdens of exorbitant taxes and rampant injustice. Let us consider Nehemiah Chapter 5 verses 14-19.
Nehemiah in this narrative presents to us the personal sacrifices he had made for the good of his people. He showed his integrity and unselfish execution of his duties whilst in office. Nehemiah in His position and privilege had many rights which he could have taken advantage of for personal gain, but he declines those rights so that he can not only help his already oppressed countrymen but help in keeping focused on the rebuilding process without incurring further burdens to his people. Nehemiah gives and continuously gives generously from his own pocket all for the glory of God. We serve a God who gave and gave generously His Son Jesus Christ who was the substitute for you and me so that we can escape the penalty of sin, which is death. How then can we not be generous, as all that we have is given in grace to us, reflective of His wondrous love?
What was Nehemiah's motive for giving generously? Did he really have to do what he did? Did Nehemiah have to live a life of self-sacrifice?
- Firstly in Nehemiah Chapter 5:15, he states that he was governed by the fear of the Lord.
- Secondly in Nehemiah Chapter 5:18, he had compassion for the people and he was deeply burdened for them.