Social Injustice

Leadership, Plugging the Leaks

Scripture Resource Passage: Nehemiah 5

            Living in a time of thundering silence Nehemiah is willing to speak. He provides a voice for the voiceless. He champions oppressed people. He does so fully aware that his commitment will not be popular; at least it will not be popular in the court yards of oppressors. It is fair to ask: What’s in this record for 21stcentury disciples?

            Today’s reading from Nehemiah (5:1-13) amplifies the counter point of moral justice—moral injustice. It was a time when leaders abandoned virtue and vulnerable people suffered. Social turmoil, racial discrimination and lousy political leadership were society’s guiding forces. Disenfranchised people were crying out in pain because of injustices authored by those in power. The scenes are as contemporary as racial turmoil in the 21stcentury and just as painful. What’s in this Scripture-record for today’s disciples?

            As you might guess, there is more to our difficulties than Nehemiah’s story can resolve. Peer inside any family or any of Scripture’s many books. Each story you see or read contains enough moral failure to sink a ship. Families leak water continuously. No amount of bailing is sufficient. Moral courage is conspicuous by her absence. What’s in Nehemiah’s records for today’s disciples?

            If only someone would speak and say, “Plug the leaks!” Good news—there is a leak-plugger, a seam-filler, an obedient courage-filled servant of God who in a time of near total devastation speaks — “No more!” That someone is Nehemiah. In spite of society’s turmoil, one person makes a difference and life changes.

            Nehemiah, when confronted with systemic graft, abuse of power, racial scheming, and outright fraud speaks: ‘This is evil.’ Nehemiah looks like Jesus. Thank you Nehemiah for your faithful discipleship in the days before the coming of Messiah. 

            Four questions to encourage your personal application of today’s passage are presented below.

Life Application Questions

  1. What examples of injustice do you see around you?
  2. During times of controversy what helps you know it is time speak up?
  3. Have you witnessed an example of moral courage within your family or on a national level?
  4. Is there a message for each generation’s disciples in Proverbs 31:8-9?

Published by Andrew Simkins

Dr. Andrew Simkins provides spiritual direction for individuals and small groups through the regular blog posts found on this site. He resides in northwest Indiana with his beloved, along with nearby children and grandchildren who are the adornment of his life.

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