Scripture: Nehemiah 5:10-13
"And likewise I, my brothers and my servants are lending them money and grain. Please, let us leave off this usury. "Please, give back to them this very day their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money and of the grain, the new wine and the oil that you are exacting from them." Then they said, "We will give it back and will require nothing from them; we will do exactly as you say." So I called the priests and took an oath from them that they would do according to this promise. I also shook out the front of my garment and said, "Thus may God shake out every man from his house and from his possessions who does not fulfill this promise; even thus may he be shaken out and emptied." And all the assembly said, "Amen!" And they praised the LORD. Then the people did according to this promise.
Insights: It was not enough for Nehemiah to just make accusations against the leaders regarding their sin. He also needed to confront them about it and that is what we see in today’s verses. Nehemiah listed four things they need to do to stop this sin and make things right before God and man. First, they needed to stop sinning. He tells them in verse ten to stop charging interest to their fellow Jewish brothers because this was sin in violation to the Mosaic Law. Beloved, you cannot gradually stop sinning. You must determine right now to stop the sin. Second, however, stopping the sin is not enough. You must also make specific plans to correct the situation. The sin is filling, wrongly I might add, a void in your life. God was the only One designed to fill that void and so you must make plans to intentionally have the Lord fill that space. Otherwise, you will just return back to your sin. In verse eleven Nehemiah tells them the steps to get right with their brothers in regards to their sin as it pertained to finances. Third, declare you plan as a promise to God. The people make a vow before the priests to stop this financial sinning against their brothers. There is strength in publically telling an accountability partner the sin you have been committing and asking him or her to hold you accountable to the Lord in order to stop this sin. Finally, Nehemiah shook his garments to visually show the people how serious God takes a promise. Don’t forsake your vow to the Lord.
- What sin has trapped you and become a stronghold in your life?
- Are you willing to stop this sin and start filling the void with Christ Jesus?
Prayer: Father, forgive me of my sin and cleanse me from my unrighteousness. Show me the ways in which I need to replace my sin with Your presence and give me the courage to act accordingly. Amen.