Shake The Folds
By ijeab

Nehemiah demanded of himself and the other wealthy members of the community, that they would restore any assets and repay any interest that had been charged.

A big ask. But the response is positive and all those in attendance promise to give everything back and demand nothing more from the people.

Nehemiah goes one step further with a demonstrative oath. He stands up and shakes out the fold of his robe, declaring that if they do not follow through on their commitment then may God shake them like he is shaking his robes.

It would have been quite a memorable sight. An unusual action not repeated elsewhere in Scripture, but it is a visual reminder that what you hold tight to God will loosen from you.

As you tuck your purse in the folds of your robe and place value on your property, God will shake you free if you do not obey Him.

It reminds us of the story of Zacchaeus– someone who had cheated for the oppressive Roman empire (Luke 19).

But when he encountered Jesus, it radically changed him so that after they had eaten together, Zacchaeus declares that he will give half his possessions to the poor and if he has cheated anyone he will pay them back four times over.

A seemingly extravagant response. But encountering God often frees up the wallet.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord, thank You that You have blessed us with so much. Sorry when we have held on too tightly to what You have given.. Help us to trust You more, holding our possessions lightly. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Where has your purse or wallet become tight? Is there something extravagant you can do to bless someone else and loosen the hold money has on you? Buy a gift, coffee or lunch?

Scripture To Consider:
Ruth 2:1–20; Job 38:1–13; Luke 19:1–10; Jas 5:1–12

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.