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Nov 18: Neh 5-6 | Joel 1 | 1 Thes 5

Reading 1 - Neh 5:14,17

"Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I [Nehemiah] was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year -- twelve years -- neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor" (Neh 5:14).

This provision would have been Nehemiah's by right and law, since he was the royally-appointed governor of the land. Note the comparison between Nehemiah and Paul (1Co 9): both had the right to be supported by their brethren, but neither exercised that right. It was Paul who wrote, "And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so" (2Co 11:9). Notice that Paul, like Nehemiah, had personal enemies who sought to harm him.

"Furthermore, a hundred and fifty Jews and officials ate at my table, as well as those who came to us from the surrounding nations" (v 17).

Nehemiah kept an "open house", at his own personal expense. In all his work, and his generosity, and his support of others, Nehemiah showed beforehand the work and attitude of the apostle Paul. Consider the following passages:

  • "Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality" (Rom 12:13).

  • "Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches" (2Co 11:28).

  • "I have not coveted anyone's silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive' " (Acts 20:33-35).