FRIDAY May 19, 2017
“I also, with my brethren and my servants, am lending them money and grain. Please, let us stop this usury! Restore now to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, also a hundredth of the money and the grain, the new wine and the oil, that you have charged them.” - Nehemiah 5:10-11
Notice how Nehemiah took from his own resources to help those without food. He wanted to remain blameless and not be a part of the leaders’ plots to take advantage of the poor people. Instead Nehemiah became such a good example to them of how God’s people should have been treated––fairly. As a leader he took care of the situation.
Nehemiah knew these problems had divided the people but they needed to be united to build the wall. So, a full restoration should be made for all wrong they had done. Nehemiah commanded the leaders to stop charging high interest. Then they needed to restore the people’s lands and property, and give back anything else they had overcharged them. Only then would peace and unity come back to the people.
If we have acted unjustly in any way towards a person in the body of Christ then the only way we can have peace is to restore what we have taken and make things right. God’s ways are not our ways. He is always restorative, and as His people, we should always seek restoration between each other.
Zacchaeus was a rich, unjust, tax collector who made a profit from the people. Jesus came to stay at this sinful man’s house. After a time with Jesus, Zacchaeus had a change of heart, he repented for what he had done and said to the Lord: “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”Zacchaeus wanted to make things right. More importantly he wanted to be in a right standing with God.
“Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham…”
For more from Raul Ries, please visit Somebodylovesyouradio.org!