Men of Compassion
A Study of Nehemiah
Dr. Jim Denison
With today’s economic woes and worries, we could not have today’s study in a more appropriate setting. We have been called to be men of wisdom, commitment, sacrifice, and courage. Now God will call us to be men of compassion. Who needs your help this week?
See the need (vs. 1-6)
The problems faced by the nation to this point were external: Permission from the king to rebuild the city, and opposition from their enemies in the region. Now Nehemiah comes to the most difficult and disastrous issue of all: Internal conflict. The text begins: “Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their Jewish brothers” (v. 1).
“Outcry” translates the Hebrew word used for the cry of the Jews against their Egyptian masters during their slavery in Egypt. This is shortly before the wall was finished in August-September, near the end of the harvest. Creditors were requiring payment of capital and interest on loans. Nehemiah had asked the men to stay in Jerusalem to do the work, leaving their villages. Now an economic crisis resulted, resulting in four problems.