Nehemiah 5:7
and after serious thought I rebuked the nobles and officials, saying, "You are exacting usury from your own brothers!" So I called a large assembly against them
Sermons
An Assembly Convoked Against SinnersE. Payson, D. D.Nehemiah 5:7
Precipitate Anger AvoidedT. C. Finlayson.Nehemiah 5:7
Witnesses Against YouSpurgeon, Charles HaddonNehemiah 5:7
A Great Schism AvertedHomiletic CommentaryNehemiah 5:1-13
Brave CompassionT. C. Finlayson.Nehemiah 5:1-13
Error and ReturnW. Clarkson Nehemiah 5:1-13
The Accusing Cry of HumanityHomiletic CommentaryNehemiah 5:1-13
The Friend of the PoorW. Ritchie.Nehemiah 5:1-13
The Rich Rebuked for Taking Advantage of the PoorJ.S. Exell Nehemiah 5:1-13
An Example of Successful Activity for GodR.A. Radford Nehemiah 5:1-19

I. THE POOR.

1. Numbers tend to poverty. "We, our sons, and our daughters, are many: therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live" (ver. 2).

2. Borrowing tends to poverty. "We have mortgaged our lands" (ver. 3).

3. Taxation tends to poverty. "We have borrowed money for the king's tribute" (ver. 4).

4. Poverty may sometimes have cause for protest against injustice.

5. Poverty is experienced by the people of God who are engaged in holy toils.

II. THE RICH.

1. The rich must not take undue advantage of calamitous circumstances. "Because of the dearth" (ver. 3).

2. The rich must not be inconsiderate. "Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren" (ver. 5).

3. The rich must not be cruel. "Our daughters are brought unto bondage" (ver. 5).

4. The rich must not violate the law of God. "Ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God?" (ver. 9).

III. THE REBUKE.

1. Angry. "And I was very angry."

2. Reflective. "I consulted with myself" (ver. 7).

3. Impartial. "The nobles and the rulers."

4. Sustained. "And I set a great assembly against them."

5. Argumentative (ver. 8).

6. Unanswerable. "They held their peace, and found nothing to answer."

7. Successful. "We will restore." - E.







Then I consulted with myself.
But, though very angry, he nevertheless "consulted with himself." Even righteous indignation is often too precipitate in its expression, and vents itself in a fuming and storming which does little or no good. But the fervid feeling of Nehemiah was blended with practical wisdom. He took counsel with himself as to what was best to be done.

(T. C. Finlayson.)

And I set a great assembly against them
I wish to show impenitent sinners how great an assembly may be set against them. That so large a majority of mankind are on the side of irreligion, tends powerfully to preserve a majority on that side, for a large proportion of the youth in each successive generation will enlist under the banner of the strongest party. The same circumstance operates to weaken the force and prevent the success of those means and arguments which God employs for the conversion of sinners. When the man who neglects religion looks around him and sees wealth, rank, power, and influence all ranged on his side, he secretly says, "I must be right, I must be safe. If I fare as well as the great mass of my fellow-creatures, I shall fare well enough." This being the case, it is important that sinners should be made to see what a great assembly may be set against them. Among those who are against them, we mention —

I. THE GOOD MEN NOW IN THE WORLD. God has not a servant, Jesus Christ has not a friend on earth who is not against you. Their example is against you, their testimony is against you.

II. ALL THE GOOD MEN WHO HAVE EVER LIVED IN THE WORLD, the spirits of just men made perfect.

III. ALL THE WRITERS OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS. With one voice they cry, "Woe to the wicked! it shall be ill with him, for the reward of his hands shall be given him."

IV. THE HOLY ANGELS.

V. THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. Every doctrine which He promulgated, every precept which He enjoined, every threatening which He uttered, every action of his life, is against you. Christ meets all the impenitent, and says, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." He meets the unbelieving, and says, "He that believeth not shall be damned." He meets all the unholy, and says, "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord." He meets all the unregenerate, and exclaims, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye be born again, ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven."

VI. GOD THE FATHER.

(E. Payson, D. D.)

Some persons are deaf to the voice of justice until it is repeated loudly by thousands of their fellow-men. The silent voice of principle and right they will not hear, and the gentle rebuke of some one faithful friend they will despise; but when righteous. ness enlists public opinion on its side, when many are seen to be its advocates, then these very persons will show that they have relics of conscience left, and they yield to right demands because they see them not only to be just, but to be popular. This is the main point with those of the feebler sort, and we turn the scale if, like Nehemiah, we "set a great assembly against them." I set a great assembly against —

I. THE UNCONVERTED.

1. The great assembly of all the godly that are upon the earth. They all testify against you.

(1)By their consistent life.

(2)By their joy in God.

(3)By their very horror at your sin.They cannot bear to think of that which awaits you. Holy Whitfield, when he began to touch upon that subject, would, with the tears streaming down his cheeks, cry, "The wrath to come! the wrath to come!" It was too much for him. He could but repeat those words and there cease.

2. All the inspired writers of the Bible.

3. The departed saints.

4. The whole company of the angels.

5. God Himself. "The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth."

6. Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

II. THOSE WHO SAY THAT SIN IS A VERY PLEASNT AND PROFITABLE THING. Oh, what an assembly it would be if I could bring up from the hospitals the wretches who are suffering an earthly hell from their sins I Go over the casual ward, enter the union-house, spend an evening in a low lodging-house, and sit down and hear the tales of sons of ministers, of sons of gentlemen, of sons of noblemen, of men that once were merchants, traders, lawyers, doctors, who have brought themselves down by nothing else than their own extravagance and sin to eat the bread of pauperism.

III. THOSE WHO SAY THAT TRUE RELIGION MAKES PEOPLE MISERABLE. I have suffered as much of bodily pain as most here present, and I know also about as much depression of spirit at times as any one; but my Master's service is a blessed service, and faith in Him makes my soul leap for joy. I would not change with the most healthy man, or the most wealthy man, or the most learned man, or the most eminent man in all the world, if I had to give up my faith in Jesus Christ. It is a blessed thing to be a Christian and all God's people will tell you so. By the living saints that do rejoice, and by the dying saints who die without a fear, I set an assembly against the man who dares slander true religion by saying that it does not make men happy.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

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