The Passage: Nehemiah 5:14-15
The Point: God provides for His people.
For 12 years Nehemiah governed the Jewish people under the reign of King Artaxerxes. As a government official, Nehemiah was entitled to the food allowance of a governor. Nehemiah refused that allowance because he wanted to set a different example. He wanted to rule righteously and with compassion. He wanted to rely on God’s provision, so his people would learn to rely on God’s provision. There is a quote from missionary Hudson Taylor that states “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s provision.” Taylor was a missionary to China and because of his ministry, 18,000 people in 18 different provinces came to know Christ. This principle is one from which we can all learn.
As Americans, we are surrounded by wealth and power. Some of us have many personal resources at our disposal and some of us have limited resources. Some of us may even be experiencing oppression. Nehemiah recognized he should only use the God-ordained resources at his disposal. Personally, we should recognize the resources that God has given us and learn to live and minister out of that provision. When we need more resources because our personal daily needs exceed what we have, then we should turn to God and ask for Him to provide. When we try to flex our own strength or work outside of the resources God provides, we miss seeing God’s power.
- What did former governors take in order to feed the people?
- Besides the former governors, who else domineered the people?
- Why did Nehemiah refuse the food allowance?
- What are some specific ways you have experienced God’s provision?
- What are some specific areas where you currently need God’s provision?
- Take a moment to ask God for His provision in those areas.