Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study. This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!
Kendra Graham NOTES from Nehemiah 5:2-5
WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.
Verse 2: “We, sons and daughters and many, let us get grain to eat and live.
Verse 3: “We are mortgaging our fields, vineyards, houses, to to get grain because of the famine.
Verse 4: “We have borrowed money for the king’s tax on our fields and vineyards.
Verse 5: “Our flesh is like the flesh of our brothers, our children like their children. We are forcing our sons/ daughters to be slaves. We are helpless, our fields and vineyards belong to others.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?
Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?
Verse 2: I love that Nehemiah does not leave out the tough stuff. The book of Nehemiah is so much deeper than just building a wall. God cares so much more about us than just getting stuff done…. everything is personal, and God works in personal ways throughout the process. God is working here on the hearts of His people toward one another. To do the wall project, people had to work, and work hard, all day, and keep watch at night…. so who was maintaining the fields? For awhile, the fields would need to wait, there was a famine anyway, so the fields were not lush and productive…. this meant, there were hungry people. Were they hungry because they were lazy? No. There was a famine and a wall to build. At times like this, is when you come together and help one another get through. The problem was…. there was no “helping” one another. There were needy, hungry people working on the wall, trying to do what they could to survive.
Verse 3-5: Since the fields were not producing, and the work on the wall needed to get done, the people were mortgaging their fields just to try to stay afloat, because regardless of food production the people would be taxed on the land and the food they should have grown. In order to pay the debt, the people had no other choice but to send their children into slavery to pay the debt that is owed. paying off debt and being good stewards of our money God has entrusted is one thing, but in this case, the land owners (their own people) were exacting the money and placing impossible taxes on things, knowing there was a famine, and knowing about the wall project, and doing this to their own people. The wealthy within the walls of Jerusalem were looking at the situation with greed in their heart, seeing there was money to be made in the crisis, who cares that they will be required to destroy their own people and friends, it was an opportunity for them to make money. (verse 11) The people have worked so hard, and come so far, and beat off enemy attacks yet prevailed against it all, yet here, among themselves, without one “shot” fired from an enemy, there is potential for the whole thing to come tumbling down from within. Is this not the story of so many churches and ministries out there? We destroy ourselves, no need for an enemy at all. Jesus tells us:
John 13:35, “By THIS everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you LOVE one another.” Ephesians 4:3 “Make EVERY effort to keep the unity of the Spirit though the bond of peace.”
Unity takes effort. Do not take advantage of your brother or sisters poor state, instead, fight for them.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.
As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.
*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think. This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?
Verse 2: At work, at school, at church, there are people I interact with every day that are needy, how has God enabled me to bless their lives? (Not forgetting the needy ones may be the little hands and feet you tuck into bed each night…. we get so busy sometimes we overlook those under our nose).
Verse 3-5: Do I take advantage of people or invest in people? Do I try to exact things from people because they are a Christian? (This is a Christian dentist, mechanic, doctor… so he should give me this or that for free or at a discounted price?…. this is taking advantage) Am I quick to turn my back on someone if it is to my advantage? How am I working to keep unity in my home, school, job, church?
LIVE IT OUT!
Lord, give me the eyes to see the need and the heart to love Your people in the unity of the Spirit.
What are your thoughts on this verse? Please leave your remarks in the comments section below.
Homework: Nehemiah 5:6-9
Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!