Nehemiah 5-7

Summary

Nehemiah chapter 5, The Jews complain of their debt, mortgage, and bondage. Nehemiah rebukes the usurers, and causes them to make a covenant of restitution. He forbears his own allowance, and keeps hospitality.

Nehemiah chapter 6, Sanballat practises by craft, by rumours, and by hired prophecies, to terrify Nehemiah. The work is finished, to the terror of the enemies. Secret intelligence passes between the enemies and the nobles of Judah.

Nehemiah chapter 7, Nehemiah commits the charge of Jerusalem to Hanani and Hananiah. A register of the genealogy of them which came at the first out of Babylon; of the people; of the priests; of the Levites; of the Nethinims; of Solomon’s servants; and of the priests which could not find their pedigree; The whole number of them, with their substance. Their oblations.

Insights and Prayers

  • It’s all right to get angry at sin, or at other believers who sin; Nehemiah got angry (Neh. 5:6). However, the New Testament directs us, “Be angry and sin not” (Eph. 4:26). How do we sin without anger? We should intercede to God if we lose control of ourselves, or when we get angry for the wrong reason, or when we harm someone intentionally or unintentionally with our anger. Lord, I will control myself at all times. Sit on the throne of my heart and direct all I do. I will not be angry at You, nor at other people. I will be angry at sin. Use the energy of my anger to advance Your work and testimony. Amen.
  • Nehemiah realized he was guilty of the sin that others were doing. “I myself, as well as my brothers and my workers, have been lending” (Neh. 5:10, NLT). Lord, give me eyes to see all that I do. May I not be hypocritical of accusing others of the same sin I commit. Forgive me of all my sins, both intentional and ignorantly committed. May I be a great testimony for You. Amen.
  • Right in the middle of his actions and writing, Nehemiah broke out into a prayer. “Remember, O my God, all that I have done for those people, and bless me for it” (Neh. 5:19, NLT). Lord, may I pray during my waking hours. May I pray when talking to others, and when thinking, and when reading, as well as when I write. Lord, bless what I write and read for Your glory. Amen.
  • Satan tried in different ways to stop the walls from being built. The enemy criticized and complained, then the enemy threatened to attack. Then the enemy tried to get Nehemiah sidetracked in discussion and negotiations. Finally, they threatened to (lie) tell the King of Persia that Nehemiah was planning a rebellion to set up his own kingdom.
  • Lord, help me see how many ways satan will attack me and try to destroy both me and Your work. Make me wise to satan’s tactics. Give me wisdom, what to do and think when I am attacked. I depend on You for victory. Amen.
  • In defeating the enemy’s attacks, Nehemiah did not pay attention to what the enemy said. He focused on doing God’s work and equipped the workers to build and battle at the same time. Then he prayed as he worked, but Nehemiah gave all his time and energy to put God’s work first.
  • Nehemiah focused on finishing, and he did it. Lord, I want to put Your work first. But most of all give me determination to be a finisher. Amen.
  • The walls had not been rebuilt for 142 years, but it was finished in 52 days. It wasn’t the size of the job that kept Israel from rebuilding the walls. The barrier was in their minds. But when God put it within the heart of Nehemiah to finish the wall, it was done in a very short period of time.
  • Lord, I procrastinate and put off doing many good things. Forgive me for my procrastination. Forgive me of my sin. Give me instant obedience to do Your will. Transform me from being lazy about some things, and make me into Your obedient servant. Amen.
  • Nehemiah placed his brother over Jerusalem, the one who traveled to Persia to tell him about the sad condition of the city of Jerusalem. Since Hanani was burdened for Jerusalem, it was only right he rule Jerusalem. There’s a lesson here: don’t put a person in a job if that person doesn’t have a burden for the job. Lord, give me a job that matches my burden for Your work. Amen.
  • Just because the walls are up doesn’t mean the city was safe. We have to carefully guard ourselves day and night, and “keep the gates closed at night.” Lord, just because I have eternal life doesn’t mean I can rest in my salvation. Satan is ever vigilant to destroy me and Your work. I will be just as vigilant. I will guard myself and pray for spiritual protection. Keep me safe by the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Sources

  • Bible Summary – Adapted from The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge by R. A. Torrey
  • Insights and Prayers – Adapted from The Prayer Bible