And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews.  For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many: therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live.  Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth.  There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards.  Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought unto bondage already: neither is it in our power to redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards. Nehemiah 5:1-5
The people are working hard at trying to complete the task of finishing the wall. They have had opposition from people “outside the camp” now they have opposition from other Jews. It appears that the rich were taking advantage of the poor.
I’m picturing this time as a recession. The prices are going higher and higher yet the wages are staying the same. People had large families and were having a hard time supporting their families. They had to mortgage their homes and lands just to buy food. Borrowing money to pay taxes was also making them miserable. They felt absolutely powerless.
It was getting so bad the Jews were selling their sons and daughters to be slaves. They had no way to redeem their children because other men now owned their lands. A dilemma no one would want to be in.
As I read the verses, I heard despair, hopelessness and the wavering faith of the people. They felt like they had nowhere to turn. I’m sure it felt like the “world” was crushing in on them, losing land, homes and even children.
In my next post, Nehemiah will speak to this problem.
Maybe you know someone who is having a hard time during the recession. It could be a lost job or a cut in pay to keep the job. I spoke to someone recently whose husband has taken three cuts in pay during the last few years. We need to pray and ask God to show us where we can help others.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Colossians 3:12
Have a blessed day,
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