The Jewish people where largely taken into exile (586 BC). After 70 years in Babel Nehemiah hears about the misery of his people who remained behind in Israel. Nehemiah is known for rebuilding Jerusalem. He brought the people back to the God of Israel. Did you know Nehemiah also brought righteousness in his land and ended poverty?
Nehemiah heard about the misery of his people who where oppressed by their own brothers (Neh. 5). Nehemiah took compassion on them. The first complaint his people told him was a lack of food (vs 2). That’s where we as a foundation want to start. Educate people on how to grow food in Gods way. The second complaint is a loss of income to purchase food (vs 3). Knowledge, skills, good seeds and manure are necessary. The third complaint is the loss of income and possessions to pay taxes, they where charged with usury (1% per month) (vs 4). In many developmental countries a 40% yearly interest rate is not uncommon. A collateral is also demanded like in the days of Nehemiah. This is how many people lost their possessions, it keeps people in poverty. Micro credits, without or with an honest interest rate and without a collateral, can offer people a way out of poverty.
Righteous & compassionate
Nehemiah brings righteousness by first confronting the oppressors with their injustice in the light of Gods Word (vs 7-8). Nehemiah had also lent money, he sets an example by canceling all debts.. He asked the rich lenders to do the same that very day. They act upon that. They return fields, sons and daughters. including paid interest (vs 11). Nehemiah is our example.
Let’s be righteous and compassionate today. Do something for someone in poverty!