Rebuked The Nobles

Rebuked The Nobles 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. And I said to them, “According to our ability we have redeemed our Jewish brethren who were sold to the nations. Now indeed, will you even sell your brethren? Or should they be sold to us?”

Then they were silenced and found nothing to say.

Nehemiah 5:7-8 NKJV
Full account: Nehemiah 5:1-13

Nehemiah confronted the worst enemies of the emancipated Jews: Jewish nobility and rulers. In a great assembly of the people, Nehemiah publicly rebuked the nobles and rulers for their criminal behavior. Their crimes? Using usury to steal the homes and farms of other Jews and sell Jewish men and women into slavery.

The rich and powerful exploit the poor and weak before Nehemiah’s era. Current events have taught us that greed for money and lust for power still leads people down the same shameful roads. Still, what are you doing about it?

As one of God’s people, you have the calling and purpose of standing up against domestic enemies. It may lead to an uncomfortable public confrontation. I cannot guarantee you that the wrongdoers will repent or become silent.

Nehemiah publicly rebuked the nobles who callously enslaved neighbors and countrymen. How are you going to stand against domestic enemies? Your friends and family are looking to see how you will live out God’s righteousness.

Think: Should I be rebuked as a domestic enemy? How can I help to make things right?

Pray: “Lord, help me to restore men and women in Your righteousness.

Copyright © January 2021, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

Exacting Usury

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?

Nehemiah 5:7,9

 

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

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press.  You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.