THEME: PAYMENT OF TAX
“Still others were saying, “We have had to borrow money to pay the king’s tax on our fields and vineyards.”
-There was an economic crisis caused by a famine in Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity. This forced many families to insolvency that occasioned a strain in payment of tax. Many borrowed to pay tax and some families were forced into slavery. Nehemiah’s presence emboldened the dispossessed to cry out for justice. He set out to correct these wrongs by introducing reforms to audit policies and redressing of past excesses. Nehemiah was seen as a moral leader who corrected the misdeeds of the previous governors who lived lavishly at the expense of poor taxpayers. They took forty shekels of silver from them, in addition to food and wine (Nehemiah 5:15). Sometimes leaders take advantage of their power and authority, and some lay heavy tax burdens on its citizens. Such countries have often faced rebellion from its citizens who feel the heat of economic slowdown, and in turn shrinking the tax bracket. Such leaders forget that they have been planted in such positions by God, as much as the citizens have been instructed to obey those in authority, and thus all under the same Master in heaven. Temple tax was also reduced from half a shekel (Exodus 30:13), to a third of a shekel per annum; during Nehemiah’s time, probably because of the harsh economic conditions (Nehemiah 10:32). Nehemiah was therefore able to negotiate for a better taxation policy for his people, in both the temple tax and regular tax to the imperial government. We are called to make positive influences in our areas of calling and purpose like Nehemiah, for the glory of God.
We extol You Lord our God; for You have always been faithful to us. You are faithful in all Your ways. You have always provided for us, protected us, directed us, sustained us, healed our wounds and loved us. We thank You and glorify Your holy name. May You dear Jesus hear all our prayers and hearts desires. May You heal all those who are sick and restore their health; merciful Savior. May You heal our land from poor governance and corruption. Heal our land from overtaxation and wastage loving Master. Set us free from unemployment and economic hardship. Deliver our nation and other nations of the world from poverty and famine. Fight for us at the wake of oppressive policies and set us free. Vindicate the afflicted and save the children of the needy merciful Savior, and crush the oppressor. Touch the lives of the poor and starving in our communities. Feed all the children living in the streets and set them free from demonic oppression loving Master. Grant us the gift of salvation and set Your people free. Revive our businesses and our economy; loving Master. Take away the tide of COVID-19 from the face of the earth; dear Jesus. Deliver us from financial constraints and open many doors of opportunities for us; Abba Father. Provide for all our needs and those of our family members and friends, for You are our good God and You love us. You have said in Your word that we are more valuable than the lilies and the birds of the air, thank You Abba Father for loving us and for providing for all our needs. We shall never be smitten by the sun during the day and the moon by night, for You love us and care for us. Use us dear Jesus for the advancement of Your kingdom. Thank You Jesus for loving us with Your everlasting kind of love. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now, and forevermore. Amen
Further reading: Zechariah 7:10, Amos 5:11, Luke 3:12-13
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