THEME: THE LORD RESTORES
“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.” So they said, “We will restore it, and will require nothing from them; we will do as you say.” Then I called the priests, and required an oath from them that they would do according to this promise.”
-Nehemiah is primarily a book about rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and bringing God’s people into a place of worship, peace, security and blessing. Despite the ambition that Nehemiah had while rebuilding the wall, there was opposition that came his way from some leaders and acute drought that affected food supply. When Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and Ashdodites heard that Jerusalem was being restored, they were very angry and conspired to attack them, and create confusion (Nehemiah 4:7-8). The drought was so severe that the Israelites sacrificed all they had for food. It was a desperate situation where some people mortgaged their land, vineyards and houses for food, others requested for preferential treatment in food supply by virtue of them being large families, some borrowed money against the kings tax against their land and vineyards and several others sold their sons and daughters as slaves to access food. It was a loud outcry that revealed the peoples desperate situation. Nehemiah rebuked such evil as the leaders did not hold fast the fear of the Lord. They had even lost their redemptive power that was pronounced free; during the year of jubilee. Nehemiah rebuked the nobles and rulers for this usury and offered a restoration solution. He called on the rulers to restore all the land, vineyards, olive groves, houses, a hundredth of their money, grain, new wine and oil that had been charged. They also brought in priests to make an oath to this effect. This problem must have frustrated Nehemiah that they could not stand so strong against their enemies but fall so quickly to these kinds of problems. Sometimes we face such challenges when the people pay hefty taxes but the resources are not properly utilized to benefit them but corruption takes into play. Others places of worship have been closed down and some worshippers slowly die spiritually. It is a time to pray for restoration and God’s guidance in such matters.
Almighty and Everlasting Father, we come before You this morning thanking You for Who You are and what You have done to us. You have always been Faithful even when we have become faithless. We praise You and bless Your holy name. We declare Your deeds among all people and make mention that Your name is exalted high above every other name. We sing praises to You LORD, for You have done marvelous things in all the earth. God You are our salvation and shield, we put all our trust in You. You are our Strength and Song, our Salvation, save us Oh Lord. Save us from oppression and corruption. Save us from poor leadership and restore us. Save us from those who oppress and persecute Christians all over the world. Give us the grace to rebuild the walls which have been broken in our lives for the glory of Your name. Rebuild broken relationships among family members, broken marriages, and broken souls that have back-slided and follow the wrong paths. Increase us in faith and grant us the gift of wisdom. Journey with us Lord as we build our future. Reveal to us Your deep and hidden things according to Your merciful love. Go before us and guide us in every step that we make. Only You are Holy, only You are God. Only You deserve to be worshipped and praised. Only You are the Rock upon which we stand. Only You are able to rebuild and restore. All glory and honor belongs to You Jesus, now and forever. Amen
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