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June 12 – Trouble at home 

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” – 1 John 3:17

Scripture reading: Nehemiah 5:1-13, Deuteronomy 23:19

The wall was going up, but things were not well at home. While fathers went to the front lines of building the wall, mothers had to make do without income. Land was mortgaged, and children were being sold in order to buy food. Those lending the money were supporting the work of the wall, but at the same time they were greedily taking advantage of the circumstances of the poor. Do you sense the injustice? Can you see the division that would be forming? There is nothing wrong with wealth, but getting richer by taking advantage of the poor is plain wrong. Disgraceful. What good is a nice wall when the people are filled with greed or bitterness?

Angry at the injustice, Nehemiah calls the people to walk with fear of the Lord. A child will not bully his sibling if his parent is right there. So why should we take advantage of others when God sees all? Everything we have comes from God. God loves the one who is oppressed, and God is able to take our livelihood from us in a moment. We cannot try to build our own kingdom and at the same time seek first God’s kingdom.

What is the answer to injustice? Grace. When the lenders stopped charging interest, when we show the grace of God to others, then hearts are blessed. Bitterness is replaced with thankfulness. The nations around should see not only protective walls, but a community that shows the love of God.

Suggestions for prayer

When others are inconsiderate toward you, pray for grace to know your life is in God’s hands. Pray that God will help you know His love and patience to help you be generous to others, especially those in need.

Rev. Simon Lievaart currently serves Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. Prior to this, he served the United Reformed Church in Doon, IA. Rev. Lievaart grew up in southern Alberta, attended Redeemer University College and Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at

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