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Nehemiah 5:1-13

Talks for Growing Christians

The Enemy Within

Nehemiah 5:1-13

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Lesson Number 15

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Internal strife and dissension will hinder spiritual wall-building.

Practical Application

  1. Do you look at unfortunate circumstances through the glasses of a servant or the glasses of an opportunist.
  2. Give serious thought before acting when you’re angry.

Questions

  1. Every attempt the enemies made to stop the wall-building had been overcome. What else could go wrong?
  2. Review Nehemiah 5:1-5. What happened here? What was the problem?
  3. What was Nehemiah’s reaction to the problem?
  4. Read Acts 6:1-8. What was the problem? How was it solved? What was the result?
  5. How are we to deal with internal strife in our churches? Read Philippians 2:1-4, Galatians 5:13-15, Colossians 3:12-17 and Romans 14:19.
  6. What did Nehemiah do when he was angry? What should we do when we are angry?

Answers

  1. The attack from without now became an attack from within. There was internal strife, dissension, and disunity.
  2. Some of the Jews were so poor that they didn’t have enough to eat; they had mortgaged their houses and lands to live; they had to make themselves and their children indentured servants. The wealthier Jews, contrary to Jewish law, failed to help their less fortunate brethren. They were like loan sharks, inflicting high taxes on their fellow-citizens in a time of famine, even involved in the slave trade!
  3. He reacted in anger. He exposed the problem, then challenged the wealthier Jews not to charge interest and to return to the poor what had been taken unjustly.
  4. The widows were not being cared for. Deacons were appointed, and they took care of the situation.
  5. We are not to take advantage of one another, but to serve, honor, forgive and love one another, and to make every effort to restore peace and unity. (You will come up with more items for this list.)
  6. He got to the root of the problem, exposed it, and made things right. This should be our example.

Discuss/Consider

  1. This lesson shows people look at the same situation with different glasses, seeing the situation as an opportunist or as a servant. Do you know people from each view point? What is your frame of reference?
  2. Think of a recent catastrophic event. Think of examples of people who used this situation for personal gain. Were there some who viewed it through the eyes of a servant? Name some examples of those who chose to serve.

Challenge

  1. Recall a situation when you were angry. Was it righteous anger? How did you deal with the situation and your anger? What was the result? Are there steps you need to take to repair relationships or control unrighteous anger? Do a survey of scriptures that deal with the subject of anger.

Key Verses

  • “Should you not walk in the fear of our God?” Nehemiah 5:9

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