LESSON # 6 – Nehemiah 5 (A Complete Lesson)

• Consider John 13:34-35. How obedient is the 21st Century Church to Christ’s Command?
• How has obedience to that command affected our church?
• How can a lack of love and a failure to deal with internal strife hurt the cause of Christ?
• Remember, when Satan can not hurt the cause of Christ with attacks from outside the “body”, he will work from within.

Nehemiah 5 tells us about an internal crisis as the walls are being constructed. This problem threatened to undermine the whole project. Nehemiah worked quickly to solve the problem. Here are the steps he took to insure that his team would be in tact.


I get the impression that Nehemiah was a good listener. How will the quality of being a good listener help us in times of crisis?
Gene Getz sums up the problem this way:
1. “First, some were running out of food. ‘We, our sons and our daughters, are many,’ they complained; ‘therefore let us get grain that we may eat and live.’ (vs. 2)
2. “Second, many who had enough to eat were putting food on their tables by mortgaging their fields, their vineyards, and their homes. (vs. 3)
3. “Third, others – in order to keep their property – were borrowing money from their Jewish brothers to pay taxes to King Artaxerxes (see vs. 4). The problem was compounded when those who borrowed money were charged exorbitant interest rates by their own Jewish brothers.
4. “Fourth – and the worst of all – when their crops failed, their creditors took away their property and sold their children into slavery (see vs. 5). These people were left in a hopeless state. There was no way out. ‘We are helpless,’ they cried out to Nehemiah, ‘because our fields and vineyards belong to others.’ (vs. 5)”
Gene Getz, Men of Character, Nehemiah – Becoming a Disciplined Leader, (Nashville, Tennessee, Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1995) p. 113
Why do you think Nehemiah specifically mentioned the women in verse 1? Should they have spoken out, or let their husbands handle it? Why?
In what ways would this internal strife have affected the building of the walls?

Was Nehemiah’s anger justified? Leviticus 25:25-27, 29-42, Deuteronomy 23:19
How can we tell when our anger is justified?
What have you seen happen in churches when the anger people expressed was not justified? How was it dealt with?
How should we deal with people who express unjustified anger?

Nehemiah should be commended. Why? James 1:19-20
Ephesians 4:26-27 – Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: [27] Neither give place to the devil.
How can we sin when we are justifiably angry?
What could have happened if Nehemiah had not confronted the problem?
It is possible that Nehemiah was following the procedure laid out in Matthew 18. It appears that he privately rebuked the nobles. When he got no response, he held a public meeting.

Nehemiah publicly confronted the nobles with their sin. How do we know when it is time to confront someone privately and then, if necessary, publicly? Galatians 6:1, Matthew 18:15-19
Why do most churches loathe church discipline?
What was Nehemiah’s argument in verse 8?
Vs. 9 – How is the cause of Christ hurt when “sin in the camp” is not dealt with?
1 Corinthians 5:1-2
Vss. 11-12 – This story has a happy ending. Think of how many happy endings we deprive ourselves of when we do not confront.

Why did Nehemiah call in the priests and have them make an oath?
When is it good for Christians to make a public commitment of something they are promising to do? What does this accomplish?
What was Nehemiah saying in verse 13? Why were his actions and words effective?
Why is it hard to hold people accountable when they make a commitment? How should we go about doing it?

HE WAS THE EXAMPLE – Vss. 10, 14-19
Vs. 10 – Nehemiah and his associates were rescuing the Jews who were in financial difficulty.
Vss. 14-18 – Notice that Nehemiah did not require the payments and food paid to previous governors. Notice his reason in verse 15. If we truly fear the Lord, how will we treat other Christians, even those we don’t like?
Vs. 19 – How did God answer Nehemiah’s request? What can we be assured of when we as Christians do what is right?

Remember that we are only effective as a team if we are keeping short accounts with each other. If anything is festering within the ranks, it needs to be dealt with. Love resolves problems. It does not overlook them.