14 Moreover, from the day that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes, for twelve years, neither I nor my [g]kinsmen have eaten the governor’s food allowance. 15 But the former governors who were before me [h]laid burdens on the people and took from them bread and wine besides forty shekels of silver; even their servants domineered the people. But I did not do so because of the fear of God. 16 I also [i]applied myself to the work on this wall; we did not buy any land, and all my servants were gathered there for the work. 17 Moreover, there were at my table one hundred and fifty Jews and officials, besides those who came to us from the nations that were around us. 18 Now that which was prepared for each day was one ox and six choice sheep, also birds were prepared for me; and once in ten days all sorts of wine were furnished in abundance. Yet for all this I did not demand the governor’s food allowance, because the servitude was heavy on this people. 19 Remember me, O my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.
Now Nehemiah, as the governor of Judah, led the way in abolishing the abuse of their kinsmen. And because he honored God’s commands and trusted in God to provide, he ate quite well anyway. We don’t know where Nehemiah got his food supply, but the king may have provided for him as part of the rebuilding effort, or it may just have been the generosity of his fellow Jews. It would not be surprising for them to honor his actions by contributing willingly to his table.
Indeed, the bounty was so great, that all his servants ate well, and Nehemiah had over 150 people at his “table”, including foreigners from the nations around them. When we trust God to provide, we will not be disappointed or put to shame. And when God blesses us, it ought to poured out to those around us.
God does not give grudgingly, and he desires that we show that same generosity in what we do every day. So give, and do not hold back that which was given to you freely.