“Exacting Usury” By Kirk Hunt
After serious thought, I rebuked the nobles and rulers, and said to them, “Each of you is exacting usury from his brother.” So I called a great assembly against them.
Then I said, “What you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies?
The working people of Jerusalem and Judah were being oppressed. Men were first exacting usury, then selling men and women, sons and daughters, into slavery. Who was inflicting poverty, pain and hardship on the people of Judah? The leadership of Judah exploited their own.
Nehemiah openly rebuked the leadership of Judah regarding their corrupt government. They were deliberately violating God’s laws plus making Judah an object of contempt among the nations. He demanded restitution, giving back what they stole, from the nobles and rulers.
Kleptocracy, rulership by thievery, is not a new concept. Exploiting others, just because you can, seems to an epidemic throughout ancient and modern nations. Not even my beloved nation of birth, the United States of America, is immune.
Unfortunately, all enemies are not hostile foreigners. All too often, your oppressor is a familiar and friendly-looking countryman. Too often, the very people who should be insuring your wellbeing are instead enriching themselves. At your expense.
As one of God’s people, you are called to be honest and fair dealing with everyone. Do not be fooled: Exacting usury can take a lot of different forms. God judgment will come. Keep your hands clean.
Think: Exploiting others violates God’s laws and invites His judgment.
Pray: “Lord, guide me in honest and fair dealing with everyone.”
Copyright © June 2017, Kirk Hunt
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