Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!
As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the post blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!
We’re back with our Nehemiah series where we’ve chatted about overcoming people approval, the importance of gates , what do do when attacked, when you are weary on the wall, getting back to work on the wall, the enemy within and how to confront him. Nehemiah also walked us through how he led/governed (with the help of the Lord) the people, versus bossing/managing the people, as the former and very corrupt leadership had done in the past. Because of Nehemiah’s outstanding leadership, everyone was blessed! Now Nehemiah faces another tough battle with his arch enemies, Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem. Let’s dig in!
v1)“Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;)
v2) Sanballat and Geshem sent a messenger saying, lets meet up in the village in the in plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.
So the wall is almost finished and the Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem have cooked up a scheme to try and get Nehemiah to stop. Two of the ringleaders requested Nehemiah’s presence in the one of the villages in the plain of Ono, under the pretense of a “meet-up.” Because Nehemiah had a relationship and prayer life with God, he was able to discern this enemy wanted to get him alone to harm him.
As people of God, we will have enemies. 1 Peter 5:8 reminds to be sober and vigilant because our adversary, the devil is as a roaring lion seeking who he may devour. That tells us we should know who they are and realize with disernenment when they (or rather that evil spirit working though the person) are trying to trick us. Many times, we call foul when we get yoked up by a spirit working through someone, and I don’t deny it’s foul. Do we have enough of a prayer life and applied wisdom, (James 1 says it’s free for the asking) to avoid getting okie-doked in the first place?
Joshua 9 tells the story of this mighty warrior. Joshua was going around defeating people left and right—the Hittites, Amorites, Cannanites, Perizzities, Hivites, Jebisute, left and right, out of sight! :-)And the Gibeonites (who lived less than 100 kilometers from Joshua), were likely the next group to feel the wrath of Joshua.
The Gibeonites got crafty and and got some old sacks, old wins skins, and dry and moldy bread, and came riding in on these donkeys into Joshua’s camp (v6) saying they were ambassadors from a far country and asked Joshua and his team to make a promise not to hurt them.
Now, Joshua’s men were suspicious and said so, but the Gibeonites countered saying , we are your servants. Joshua asked for more identification and information as well, but the fake plenipotentiaries never named the country–just said they came in the name of the Lord, spoke of Joshua’s fame and asked again for Joshua to promise not to hurt them. ON TOP of that, the Gibonites made it a point to show Joshua and his team their old food, tattered clothes and worn out shoes to convince the crew that the Gibonites were really from a far place (There is SO much wrong here, but, alas, that’s another post).
Because Joshua did not seek counsel at the mouth of the Lord (v12), he and the team took the bait and ended up protecting a group of people that were enemies, disguised as friends/admirers. Eventually Joshua found out and was plenty angry about being beguiled, but because Joshua gave his word, he could not hurt them.
We have two very powerful men of God here. Joshua was a mighty man a valor, took the place of Moses, fought battles and won–yet did not ask God what to do. Nehemiah, a cupbearer, turned wall-builder/governor, had enough of a prayer life and relationship with God to see this trick coming and by-passed it. In fact, he cut off any possibility of a meeting in the next verse (Nehemiah 6).
v3)And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?
Very simply put, I am busy for God and the work should not stop. What great work has God called you to that requires your full attention? What talent, task or gift are have you come off the wall to do something else? Did you get distracted by something shiny, less involved or “more fun?” Did you get tricked into coming off the wall? In any case, BCU Family, it’s NOT TOO late to get back on the wall! Yes, God can still use you! Just repent and come back! Glorayyyyy!!!!
Now that’s were back on the wall, know that the enemy will come back with you. When we recognize the enemy, this time, rather than reasoning with him or explaining your position, close the conversation like Nehemiah did and continue working. Notice what happens next.
v4 “Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.”
Now while Team Sanballat kept coming for Nehemiah, take note that Nehemiah stayed persistent and consistent–using the same answer he gave in verse 3–nothing more, nothing less. They back off, but only for a season, as we’ll see in an upcoming post/podcast.
Application: Why do we continue to go into the desolate plains named Ono with people, places and things which have clearly do not have or want God’s best for you? Matthew 7:16 says, “you will know them by their fruits”. While God gives us free will to make choices, He is not interested in us being tricked by, making treaties with or devoured by the enemy. Let’s seek counsel at the mouth of the Lord and ask for wisdom, knowledge, understanding and instruction on how to plainly identify the”rotten” fruit and stay out of the plain of Ono. Amen? Amen!
Well, BCU Family, there is SO much more coming in Nehemiah 6, so stay tuned for our next post/podcast. In the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts, so, please post them in the comment section below!
As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and now YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!
Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!