Topic: Conflict Resolution
[DCLM Daily Manna 23 December 2019 Daily Devotional by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi]
Text: Nehemiah 5:1-13
1 And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews.
2 For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many: therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live.
3 Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth.
4 There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king’s tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards.
5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought unto bondage already: neither is it in our power to redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards.
6 And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.
7 Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them.
8 And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing to answer.
9 Also I said, It is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?
10 I likewise, and my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this usury.
11 Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them.
GET FREE UPDDATE VIA EMAIL
12 Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise.
13 Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise.
Key Verse: “Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise” – (Nehemiah 5:12)
Nehemiah, the wise and faithful governor, who, while busy with the rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall and fighting off the attacks of the enemies abroad, was also confronted with complaints of the people. He was no less bold and active to redress grievances at home and kept the people from also destroying one another.
In the verses under consideration, the poor brethren complained of the great hardship the rich brethren had put them into, to feed their families. The situation was so pathetic that Nehemiah was very angry when he heard their cry.
Nehemiah reacted quickly to the complaint, not minding the serious business of building the wall because he knew that no matter how thick the wall was built, dispute within the town would break the wall. Though angry at the nobles, he controlled his anger and rebuked the nobles with wisdom by including himself as part of the problem. This made the nobles unable to defend themselves as he called them to deal with their brethren for the fear of the Lord and because of the reproach of the enemies. To make the nobles obey the agreement, the priests were invited to take oaths.
Every human association is characterised by differences of ideas and interests. Associations, particularly in the workplace and the church is not spared by these demographic, cultural and intellectual diversities. They throw up disagreements, disputes and doctrinal misunderstanding.
When disputes and differences arise, we should willingly subscribe to godly efforts to contain them. The word of God commands the believer to seek counsel where necessary (Proverbs 20:18).
Thought For The Day: Seek godly counsels to settle disputes.
The Bible In One Year: Jude.