Friday, June 18, 2010
The prophetic example of how to change the condition of America
Upon hearing the news that the remnant in Jerusalem were under great affliction, the prophet Nehemiah prayed to the Lord. He confessed sins and reminded the Lord of the promise that "if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them...I will gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there." Nehemiah asked for mercy. The Lord made a way for Nehemiah to discuss his concern with the king that Jerusalem should be rebuilt. And that request was granted. But as the process of rebuilding began, those in Jerusalem were still not abiding in the word of God, which caused extraordinary problems.
Nehemiah Chapter 5 finds the people of Jerusalem in great distress. They began complaining against each other. Verses 5:3-5 say, "We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the famine. There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the kings 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."
This oppression was the result of sin--because there was exploitation of misfortune, a lack of love for one another, as well as various other violations of God's word. The oppression stemmed from a system where the government over Jerusalem encouraged usury, and also partook of it. There was a famine, where just to eat the people mortgaged even their children, and could not redeem them. When society is tipped in the balance toward sinful ways, good people suffer along with the evil. And the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. America, with its debt and usury--both personal and national, may well be headed for a Nehemiah era if its people and its government do not repent from their wicked ways.
Nehemiah, however, also gives us an example of what to do about this. First, he called an assembly of the nobles and rulers and rebuked them and got them to agree to restore the usury and the food that was taken. And then, Nehemiah led by example. He writes that when he was appointed governor, "the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea even their servants bare rule over the people, but so did not I, because of the fear of God." A lesson for America before we get into such extreme condition--we need to repent, rebuke our rulers, and put those in place who fear God. Sooner than later.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Word of Life Ministry