Daily Bible Reading - kindly provided by Premier and the Bible Society

Do have a look at the Premier Daily Bible reading below. It is really so good. 


When I heard their complaints, I was very angry. After thinking it over, I spoke out against these nobles and officials. I told them, “You are hurting your own relatives by charging interest when they borrow money!” Then I called a public meeting to deal with the problem.

Thursday 13 June

Nehemiah 5:6-7
These verses give us a fascinating insight into Nehemiah’s leadership. First of all, he listened. The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem might sound a simple and straightforward task. In fact, it proved to be anything but. The problem, as it is so often, was money. People were struggling to pay their taxes. This problem was made worse by the fact that, in order to pay them, they needed to mortgage their properties and fields and even sell their children into slavery. Nehemiah listened to the complaints. No leader will ever succeed unless they learn to listen carefully. This sounds simple enough, but true listening is incredibly demanding. It demands our full attention, compassion and wisdom.

As Nehemiah listened it’s no wonder that he became angry. Some of the people saw the crisis as an opportunity to exploit the poor and needy. They were lending money at huge interest and forcing people into slavery. Fired up with his anger, it would have been very easy for Nehemiah to have reacted quickly. But he didn’t. He thought it over. The Hebrew literally means “he took counsel with himself”. This is the only time we find this word in the Bible. Nehemiah drew breath and calmly considered what to do. Often the most important response to a crisis is to sleep on it.

Having calmly thought matters through, Nehemiah took action. He had a conversation with the nobles and officials and gave them a piece of his mind. He accused them of acting inappropriately and then he called a meeting. When they gathered, he faced them clearly and forcefully with the error of their ways. As a result, they owned up. They admitted that Nehemiah was right and they promised to mend their ways. But it only happened because he had, first of all, listened carefully and spent time reflecting.

QUESTION
What has this story taught you?

PRAYER
Thank you, Lord, for the powerful example of Nehemiah. Help me to be humble enough to learn from it. Amen





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