Jewish Leaders Repent

Handwritten page from the book of Nehemiah chapter 5 verses 7 through 17.
Nehemiah 5:7-17

Synopsis     Nehemiah 5:7-17     7/21/2020 

Nehemiah realized that Jewish nobles and leaders were lending money to poorer Jews for interest. The result was that many of the poor had lost their lands, possessions. For some, even their children were sold as slaves.  

Nehemiah spoke boldly to the leaders. Specifically, he reminded them that charging interest on loans was against the law. Perhaps even more importantly, the practice was injuring the community.  

The leaders acknowledged their error. They returned the people’s possessions. And they even returned the interest they had wrongfully charged. 

Jewish Leaders Repent 

Once told, the leaders repented. In this way, Nehemiah’s willingness to confront the systemic inequity brought the entire community back into harmony.  

Repentance and Leadership 

Everyone has sinned. In fact, as the scripture states, each of us have fallen short of the glory of God.  

So, the fact of my sin is just a fact of life. But the way I respond when I become aware of my sin is another story. Will I accept with humility the reality of my moral failures? Or, will I deceive myself by claiming that I have not sinned? 

There’s a lot on the line. Self-deception hurts both my own body and soul. And even more than that, it wrecks the community upon which I depend.  

“If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.” 1John 1:8-9 

July 23, 2020

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