Our man Nehemiah has faced extraordinary opposition in following God’s call to rebuild the shattered walls in Jerusalem. Now in chapter five he has to deal with sin in the camp. People are on the verge of starvation due to a famine. What’s worse, those noblemen with the means to help the poor are taking advantage of them through usury. The good leader that he is, Nehemiah deals with this sin decisively. What’s worth noting though is what was behind his conviction to do what was right.
I did not act as the others out of reverence for God. Nehemiah turned away from sin because his reverence for God ran deep. As governor of Judah, he could have taken many people to the cleaners. He not only chose not to, but he called the others on the carpet for their sin. You will recall that Joseph’s reaction to Potipher’s wife coming on to him: how can I do this thing and sin against God?
The apostle Peter echoes this sentiment in the New Testament. Speaking of those who stand up under unjust suffering, he says it is commendable when people do this because they are conscious of God.
So my question to you is this: how has the Gospel impacted your life today? As Christians we acknowledge God for who He is, with the desire to honor Him with our lives. Your decisions today, big or small: how did your reverence for God factor in? How you interacted with others, especially those who get under your skin…by your behavior did you show that you were conscious of God? When we are conscious of God, we do things we normally wouldn’t. Our reverence for God will be reflected even in the mundane things each day. What a powerful defense against temptation.
Let’s live our lives in such a way that God gets the glory, not because we’re perfect, but because we sincerely purpose from the beginning each morning to bring glory to Him in all that we do.
- Pastor Colin