Nehemiah 5 is a story of oppression, injustice, conflict, and resolution among the people of God. It is a story of broken, tired people, who have reverted to sin and are treating one another poorly because they have lost sight of their identity and mission as the sons and daughters of God. Immediate gratification has taken over as their king.
Through Nehemiah, God delivers some tough love to His people in the form of a reminder about who they are, whose they are, and why they exist. Nehemiah goes on to invite many of them to feast with him at his table, where he models selflessness, generosity, and grace.
A few hundred years later, Jesus Christ would perfectly personify the qualities that Nehemiah displayed on occasion; Jesus was and is selflessness, generosity, and grace in the flesh. And as Nehemiah invited these people, fresh out of conflict and sin, to feast at his table, Jesus invites us to feast at His table. It is at this table, through His life, death, and resurrection, that we find unity, peace, and joy.
Is there a brother or sister in Christ with whom you're experiencing conflict right now? Someone whom you need to forgive? Or maybe from whom you need to ask forgiveness? Is there someone with whom you need resolution? A relationship that needs to be restored?
As we go about the rest of our week, may we live and love one another and our King as Jesus prayed for us in John 17:
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” - John 17:20-26
Sunday, let’s come – humbly and joyfully – and feast at His table, together.