Did you ever realize that people really muck things up? Wal-Mart is the perfect grocery store to buy your stuff from; it’s just that at times, there are rude people (in their pajamas) or unruly toddlers there. School is a great place to learn, and grow, except that there are other kids who don’t desire to learn, and they just interrupt the day with their nonsense. Even church would be a good place if it weren’t for some of the people; you know the types…the obnoxiously over-spiritual, the Debbie-downer whose cat died last week, or the worst ones – the hypocrites.
It just seems that life would be much simpler if it weren’t so full of people. Ironically, this perspective forgets one thing…you and I are one of the muck causing “people.” So how then do we live? If we are muck causers, is there any hope for us?
As we read Nehemiah 5, we find that this whole “people messing stuff up” thing has been going on for quite a while. The builders of the wall sought to finish the wall, but other people in the city were causing this task to become difficult. The greed of the nobles was causing overwhelming poverty among the faithful builders. Greedy people were really mucking up a good thing.
In Romans, Paul explains it this way, “by one man sin entered into the world,” and since then, “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” This was a by-product of Adam’s faithless disobedience in the Garden of Eden – all of mankind has been plunged into a hopeless sin cycle.
Sin absolutely ruins. You see, the true problem isn’t the people; the problem is their sinning. The problem isn’t us; the problem is the sin that dominates our interactions.
Just as the greed had polluted the nobles’ lives, sins of pride, and greed, and deceit dominate our lives and our relationships. And just, as the builders needed Nehemiah to help liberate them from the bondage brought about by the sickness of sin, daily, we need to be liberated from sin through the power of Jesus.
Food for Thought: In what way are we infected by the same disease as the greedy nobles in Nehemiah? Who is the solution to this sickness?