READ : Nehemiah 5:1-13
They were silent, and could not find a word to say. (v. 8)
Have you ever been caught? You know: hand-in-the-cookie-jar sort of caught? I have, although it wasn’t for cookies – it was for M&M’s. I love the little chocolate wonders so much that on the bookcase in my home office I have a 20 oz. jar that is regularly stocked with M&M’s. I spend much of my time in my office reading and nibbling on M&M’s.
In a recent discussion, my wife, Bonnie, “counseled” me about my need to “go easy” with my vice. I told her I would not only go easy – but I would abstain from eating M&M’s altogether for a week.
I couldn’t do it. I caved. And who came walking into my office at that precise moment? My lovely wife. Words of defense did not come easy. In fact, they didn’t come at all. I was caught.
So too were the Jews who we encounter in today’s reading. Struggling financially due to the famine, many Jewish families resorted to selling their own children into slavery – to fellow Jews!
Nehemiah found this appalling. Instead of helping their needy countrymen, these Jewish creditors were taking advantage of their own people. When Nehemiah confronted the creditors, they had nothing to say. They were caught! There is no defense for the indefensible.
Lord, there is no defense for my sin. I am speechless before you. Thank you for your amazing grace. Amen.