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So, we are back with another study on one of my favorite books–Nehemiah! What I love about Nehemiah was his fortitude and steadfastness in doing the work of the Lord in the face of adversity. Last time we were together, we started Nehemiah chapter 2 and saw how God blessed Nehemiah to get a leave from his job to oversee the building of the wall, but not without trouble! Let’s continue our study on overcoming people approval/disapproval continuing in Nehemiah chapter 2.
v13And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.
v14Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king’s pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.
v15Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.
v16And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.
Again, Nehemiah kept quiet. There are times when we must use discretion about carrying out the work of God. Also, when God gives you something to do, He will tell you exactly how to carry out the duties. Nehemiah carefully assessed the damages on his own by night and crafted his plan from there, sans riling up any negativity. Go back to when the children of Israel were checking out the Promised land. Out of 12 spies, how many came back with a good report? TWO. Joshua and Caleb. Communication discretion advised.
v17Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.
v18Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.
Checkpoint: Nehemiah led the people with the vision God gave him and told it at the appropriate time to the right people, along with God’s and the king’s encouragement/endorsement—they were encouraged, responded with zeal and WANTED to work.
v19But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?
Now we have three jokers, Sanballat, Tobiah and governor of Persia, Geshem (his name means rain) in the court. They laughed them to scorn (meaning to deride something; to deem it as nothing and laugh contemptuously at it), and taunted Nehemiah and the group—asking them what they were doing!
No one enjoys being laughed at—science has even come up with a term geltophobia—the fear of being laughed at. Notice the word fear. Once God tells you to go public, do you go in faith or in fear or being mocked, ridiculed, laughed at or discounted? Do you rebuke that fear (because it’s not from God) or cower in it?
On top of that, these enemies suggested Nehemiah and his team were going against the king. NONSENSE. Nehemiah already had permission and on top of that God’s permission! I love his calm, non-getting in his feelings response:
v20Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.
Nehemiah did not go into all what the king had done or God had said—he simply said in faith, God will prosper us and this will get done. BUT YOU’LL have not part of it. Period.
People addiction checkpoint: WHY justify what God has spoken to you? Why explain to a laughing, taunting spirit rooted in pride that has already shown who he is, and sent to STOP you, what God said. Why are we trying to please a foul spirit working through people? What profit will it have? What will you gain? Right–nothing. It is time for that foolishness to stop.
As you reflect on what God was saying to you here, ask Him to reveal the areas where you are not following His exclusive leading due to being or feeling shut down by people. Ask Him to confirm His assignments in your heart and mind and give you the strength, wisdom and perseverance to do just that. And
trust me–no trust God–He will do just that. Amen? Amen!
BCU Family, this brings us to the end of our podcast! My heart was pricked and I trust the Word of God did the same for you. With His help, let’s make the necessary changes in order to be more like Him! Please come back next time as we continue our study in Nehemiah chapter 3. Thank you for stopping by! May God continue to bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you! Until we meet again, #StayOnTheWall!