Scripture: Deuteronomy 23:19-20
"You shall not charge interest to your countrymen: interest on money, food, or anything that may be loaned at interest. "You may charge interest to a foreigner, but to your countrymen you shall not charge interest, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land which you are about to enter to possess.
Insights: Yesterday we left Nehemiah angry at the people. Why was he angry? It was because they had violated the Mosaic Law. Let me clarify something about today’s verses. They were written to the Israelite nation and these specific laws do not necessarily relate to us Christ-followers in the same way they did to the Jewish people. The principles, however, are very much applicable to our lives and our finances. As a brief review from yesterday, the people were facing financial crises from high interest rates that lead to slavery. In today’s verses we are informed that a Jewish person was not to charge his fellow Jewish neighbor interest, but that it was okay to charge a non-Jew interest. Now the next part of this equation is not found in today’s verse, but it is found in Leviticus twenty-five, the Jews were also not to enslave another Jew. In Nehemiah’s situation, both of those mandates were being violated. It was for this sin against the Law that Nehemiah got so angry. The last part of verse twenty in today’s verses is part of the clue as to what is at stake for the children of Israel in the Nehemiah passage for this week. They were breaking the Law; and because they were breaking the Law, God was not blessing them. The end of verse twenty tells us the Lord wanted to bless them when they took possession of the Promised Land, but obedience was required. The reason God wanted to bless them was to prove to the other nations that the children of Israel were different from any other nation. They were God’s children and He wanted to show off His children to the watching world. So, God set up rules to live by that would distinguish them from everyone else and He would bless them because of their distinction. There was to be a very visible difference between the way they lived their lives and the lost world lived their lives. This distinction was to point the nations back to God. They did not live that way, and God did not bless them, and Nehemiah got angry. Our lives are to look differently because of our relationship with God.
- Does your life show a distinction between you, because of your relationship with Jesus, and the rest of the lost world?
- Are you following God’s principles as it relates to your finances?
Prayer: Father, let my life show a distinction because of being Your child. Guide me to the truths of Your Word and let It guide me into obedience with You. Amen.