In Nehemiah's school of leadership we learn that sometimes you have to make mid course corrections and that mid course corrections can be hazardous to the cause.
Apparently there was a famine in the land and the law of supply and demand kicked in. Prices were going up, (Having a flash back to the last time you went to the supermarket?) but peoples wages were not keeping up.
What happened next angered Nehemiah. Instead of helping each other out, the rich were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer. People were selling their kids into slavery so they wouldn't starve to death and others were mortgaging their property to buy food.
When Nehemiah learned that it was fellow Jews doing this to other fellow Jews - that lit him up! Now Nehemiah is going to confront and correct those who probably have the most power and influence in the land. Ticking these people off may be a bad idea, it could bring the whole project to a stop if they get mad. Should Nehemiah wait or should he confront now? I don't think it was whether or not if he was going to do it but he knew that timing is everything!! So what does he do?
#1 - Create a plan before you confront. chapter 5, verse 7 tells us that he took his time to think about. Wise course of action, don't let emotion be the only reason why you confront someone.
#2 - He confronted at a level they could understand - bad business principles. Nehemiah and others had been buying back Jewish slaves so they could be set free. These guys were forcing Jews to be sold into slavery. Nehemiah points out that he was using money to buy back the same Jewish people.
#3 - He then tells them what the plan is. Quit charging interest. Just help the people through these tough times.
#4 - He gets them to make it offical. Don't just get an agreement, get an agreement in writing. In this case it was a spiritual pledge. They all agreed than anyone who didn't comply with this plan would be disinfranchised by God and that they would loose everything they own.
What Nehemiah does next is the BIG key. He shows them how to be prosperous without having to be greedy. Nehemiah personally sacrificed his salary for 12 years. As governor he could have demanded, but instead he let God provide through those who were willing to give. 150 people at at his table every night. Nehemiah lived like a "king" without having to be the king.