Nehemiah 5 - Sermon Bible Commentary

Bible Comments
  • Nehemiah 5:15 open_in_new

    Nehemiah 5:15

    I. First let me put the main principle that lies here in these words: nothing will go right unless you dare to be singular. "So did not I." The chief field for the exercise of this resolute non-compliance with common practice is in the region of moral action in the daily conduct of your lives. (1) He who yields is wrecked and ruined. (a) The absolute necessity for this sturdy resistance is plain from the very make of our own natures, (b) It is enforced if we think of the order of things in which we dwell. (c) It is chiefly enforced by the fact that every one of us is thrown more or less closely into contact with people who themselves are living as they should not, and who would fain drag us after them. (2) Remember that not only does easy yielding to such enticements bring all sorts of moral confusion and failure into a man's life, but that such compliance is in itself weak and unworthy. Surely there is nothing that walks the earth more contemptible, as well as more certainly evil, than a man that lets himself be made by whatever force may happen to be strongest near him, and fastening up his helm and unshipping his oars, is content to be blown about by every vagrant wind and rolled in the trough of each curling wave. (3) Another very solemn consideration may be suggested, enforcing the need of this vigorous non-compliance with the temptations around us, from the remembrance of what a poor excuse for wrong-doing they will be found to be at last.

    II. You cannot resist the evil around you unless you give yourselves to God. "So did not I, because of the fear of God." God in Christ, trusted in, loved, reverenced, obeyed, imitated God in Christ alone strengthens a man for this resistance and non-compliance. (1) In Christ we have an all-sufficient pattern. There is a Man whom it is safe and blessed to imitate the Man Christ Jesus. (2) That fear of God which is all transfused and mingled with the love of Him gives us next an all-powerful motive. (3) The fear of God strengthens us for resistance because it gives us an omnipotent power in ourselves whereby we resist.

    As the secret of all negative forbearance from evil, take for your watchword "So did not I, because of the fear of God." As the secret of all positive allegiance to God, let your motto be "The love of Christ constraineth me."

    A. Maclaren, Sermons Preached in Manchester,3rd series, p. 89.

    Reference: Nehemiah 5:15. H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit,No. 1716.

  • Nehemiah 5:19 open_in_new

    Nehemiah 5:19

    If we use this motto of Nehemiah, we must live in the spirit of Nehemiah.

    I. We must think on God and God's glory. Let us be interested in Zion, concerned in the decay of Jerusalem, grieved because religion does not make the progress it ought to do. Let us be concerned about the assaults made on Jerusalem, whether by scepticism, or worldliness, or superstition. Let us care for Jerusalem and be zealous for its building up and its defence.

    II. Let us be willing to sacrifice ease, and luxury, and pleasure for the toils and sufferings of the people of God. Nehemiah gave up much. He laboured for the benefit of Jerusalem and Zion. Let us follow his example and be practical in our sympathy. Let us be diligent in service, and then we may leave our welfare and our earthly happiness to God's care. "Think upon me, my God, for good."

    III. There are two essential things in saying, "my God" a personal reliance on Him for salvation and a personal consecration to His service. Faith in Christ involves surrendering ourselves to Christ. Are we imitating Him and walking in His way? Let us yield ourselves to Him and avow that the Lord is our God.

    Newman Hall, Penny Pulpit,No. 711.

    Reference: 5 Parker, Fountain,Sept. 27th, 1877.