Our Present Painful and Serious Financial Crisis Could Be Speedily Corrected by Such Wise Leaders

There are times when strong clear and specific leadership is required, especially when a nation is in real trouble and they were at that time. In the book of Nehemiah we learn so much about wise responsible practical leadership. I am writing from my reading of Nehemiah Chapter 9 which contains one of the longest prayers in the Bible. Do check out the actual text. That is always wise and can have its own very special rewards.

In prayer the people address God and say, “You have kept your promise, because You are righteous. You saw the suffering, and YOU see the suffering. You saw and You heard. You are a miracle working God.

You lead your people. Do not we who are among the people of God still need strong clear leadership in these present times?

You speak and You give laws that are just and Right. You provide. We are learning here so much of the greatness of God and the goodness of God.

You told your people to go in and take possession of the land, but then sin came and our forefathers refused to obey You. Sin is one of the few great unmentionable words today. People can become very embarrassed when anyone talks about sin. Euphemisms are used to hide the reality of what is basically sin.

But, You are a forgiving GOD, and You do not desert your people, even when they desert You. It is a most wonderful thing to know that Almighty God will never forsake you and leave you on your own. The focus of the prayer is the marvellous mercy and grace of God.

The Holy Spirit was with them, to instruct them, even when they had no time nor desire for instruction. When we reach verse 21 we read that God sustained this rebellious obstinate people, and He them lands and nations.

This Prayer is grounded in Scripture. Note how often “YOU” is mentioned. The prayer is God-centred.

You were so good to these YOUR PEOPLE. God is faithful, but alas His people are unfaithful. God is consistent but His people are inconsistent. God is reliable, but His people are unreliable.

At verse 26, we come to man’s sin. When the situation became tough and unbearable, You came and rescued and delivered. It was all compassion, and that compassion made You raise up leaders. We have the settling in the land and then reference is made to the times of the Judges or Leaders raised up by God, and then the Monarchy.

But sin reared its ugly head and it happened all over again. The people paid no attention to the prophets God sent, and they say in verse 32, that what we have been through we have deserved. All this suffering is because of our sins.

But they had gathered in prayer to sort it all out, and to do so in a very real and practical manner, and all this recorded to teach us and perhaps help us avoid the pitfalls. It can be valuable to take time to review history. We read here of the horrendous and awesome consequences of ingratitude and rebellion, and the inevitability of punishment, but there is hope for the future. The present painful harvest is a product of a rebellious past, but it can also be the seed for the future.

A biblical view of history makes us neither wide-eyed optimists nor downhearted pessimists, but realists. There are no excuses here, just plain honest confession.

As soon as we say “I was wrong” forgiveness and cleansing and healing restoration will flood such people! This was indeed a serious hour and it goes right through into Chapter 10.

Some may wish to return to the Law of God if only for verse 31, but it has to be the whole law, the law of Christ for us, the law of mercy and grace and power!

When debt is such a massive problem here is a marvellous jewel of truth.

The people state how they are going to assume responsibility. There follows a whole lengthy list of promises, with that solemn word at the end of Chapter 10.

This kind of commitment arises from the clear anointed exposition of the Word of God, but such genuine commitment takes courage. Do you this quality of courage for these dark financial times when many are hurting?

Nehemiah and Ezra gave such positive leadership and this amazing harvest resulted. Some may despise, ridicule or scorn such leadership but it worked and the circumstances were remedied!

I write this when the western world is experiencing a financial crisis as a result of greed and immorality and selfishness and horrendous planning. It could all be corrected reasonably speedily if we listened attentively and seriously to men like Nehemiah and Ezra.

Sandy Shaw

Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children’s Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.