When a person trusts in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, they are justified – treated as righteous – and the Holy Spirit starts working in them that they eventually might be presented to the Father as righteous. Even as Christian believers, going through this sanctifying process, we still have our flaws and Abraham demonstrated this. Abraham had been a believer in the one true God for many years now, sin was no longer his master, but a small pocket of sin surfaced and he was up to his old tricks again – passing off his wife as his sister.
In order to achieve this, not only did he sin, but he caused his wife to sin, using, arguably, one of the oldest emotionally unfair statements on his wife – “If you really love me you’ll……sin” (My paraphrase). Jesus himself would later say it would be better for someone to have a millstone attached to ones neck and dropped in the sea than to cause others to sin.
Yet, despite Abraham’s mistakes, God still counted him as a prophet. God was still able to use Abraham for his glory later on. This is not to excuse Abraham’s conduct, for it was a sinful action and God recognised it as such. If anything, this shows how great God is, that he is able to use such flawed, sinful, characters for his glory – even us.
In addition, such characters cannot bring glory to themselves, and show the glory of God even more.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Cor 4:7
After attempting to discourage those rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, in chapter 5 we see Satan attempting to divide the people that they might be defeated.
Nehemiah saw the need of the people though and approached it with much consideration. He became angry, and rightly so, at the mistreatment of the Jews by their fellow Jews. Those who held land extorted money from their farming tenants, even causing some to resort to slavery to pay for food. Nehemiah saw that the needs of people were important. He appealed to their conciences and to their relationships. He asked them how could they treat their fellow countrymen so poorly. He asked them how they could stand before God having treated their countrymen in this manner. He asked them how they could’ve treated their countrymen so poorly with the eyes of the Gentiles watching.
As Christians, we should treat others as God expects us to treat them. Even more so when a non-Christian rightly spots us treating others badly.