Welcome to our Tuesday devotions. Every Tuesday, we will offer a study in the book of Nehemiah. We hope you enjoy these devotions and will also follow us on social media at @thecovenc. We post encouraging Bible verses, upcoming events at The Cove, and much more.
The Fear of the Lord
By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte
Nehemiah 5:9-13 (NASB)
“Again I said, “The thing which you are doing is not good; should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies? And likewise I, my brothers and my servants are lending them money and grain. Please, let us leave off this usury. Please, give back to them this very day their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money and of the grain, the new wine and the oil that you are exacting from them.” Then they said, “We will give it back and will require nothing from them; we will do exactly as you say.” So I called the priests and took an oath from them that they would do according to this promise. I also shook out the front of my garment and said, “Thus may God shake out every man from his house and from his possessions who does not fulfill this promise; even thus may he be shaken out and emptied.” And all the assembly said, “Amen!” And they praised the Lord. Then the people did according to this promise.”
Along with a massive building project, threats of attack from enemies without, there is now an issue with an attack from within. A famine has taken the meager livelihood away from most of the people. As mentioned last week people were enslaving themselves to buy food. Nehemiah himself is lending money and grain to those in need.
In verse 9, Nehemiah asked the question, “Should you not walk in the fear of our God?” That is a great question to guide us in all of our dealings with people. If we had a healthy fear of the Lord, or a better translation would be a reverent awe of the Lord, then we would treat our fellow human beings with the compassion that Nehemiah was seeking the people of his day. If we took a step back and asked ourselves that same question before we speak, or act imagine how that would shape our interactions.
“Let all the earth fear the Lord;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him” (Psalm 33:8, NASB).
In verse 13, Nehemiah shook his garment and said, ‘This may God shake out every man from his house . . . who does not fulfil his promise . . . May he be shaken out and emptied.” God takes our promises, and the way we treat one another seriously.
Today we live under the New Covenant of grace, but I believe many of the Old Testament principles still apply. We are to love one another, and treat each other with the love of God. Be the hands and feet of Jesus, and have a healthy fear and awe of Almighty God in the process.
What can we learn from Nehemiah?
- When we see injustice, speak up. Do something.
- When something we have done wrong, let our response be one of humble obedience to
- Follow Through on our promises
- If we have the ability to help those in need, don’t waste the opportunity and expect someone else to do what God has called you to do.
God’s mercies are new every morning, and and we should have a healthy fear and wonder of Him. By operating in the awe of the Almighty we will see God’s people as He sees them. Allow the Holy Spirit to stir in you a compassion, and love for those around you.
What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?
- How am I treating others? Will my actions benefit or hurt others?
- How are we dealing with others? Is there anything we are doing that is unfair?
- How can I be more loving and Christ like in my dealings with others?
- What can I do today to stick to the promises I have already made?
- What kind of shaking have I received because I did not keep a promise?
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