Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!
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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. Now the wall is nearly completed and Nehemiah has been confronted and successfully overcame his arch enemies, Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem… until now. Let’s dig in!
Scene: Sanballat and Tobiah tried to lure Nehemiah off the wall under the “auspice” of having a meet-up in a desolate place. Nehemiah cited he was doing a great work and he would not come down. The wicked duo tried to wear Nehemiah down by coming after him FOUR times. And all four times, Nehemiah answered the same way and kept working.
Before we begin, in Luke 4:13, after Jesus had been tempted by the enemy, Luke writes, “and when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from Him [Jesus] for a season.” Apparently it was open season on Nehemiah, because the duo came back for a fifth time!
v5Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand;
v6 Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words.
v7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.
So they say Nehemiah, I have this letter—a public accusation here, with a report backed up by a leader, that you and your team are rebelling and wanting to be king. Further, you have appointed prophets to pump you up as the new king and you do not want that to get back to the current king. We need to talk.
For most of us, it’s one thing when we are accused privately like Nehemiah was in the beginning of chapter 6. It’s quite another when your name is being dragged through the mud and named as the leader of a plot to overthrow the king. At that time, any governmental coup was punishable by death–all this was based on a LIE!!! How many of us would have marched off that wall to answer these charges so that these accusations would not get back to the king? Me, too. Nehemiah kept cool, though and walked out Matthew 10:16 that says, “behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” His response:
v8Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest [making]them out of thine own heart.
Nehemiah could have gotten into his feelings and explained how he consulted the Lord, had the king’s permission, he prayed, well, look at all that was done, he never took money, etc. Rather, he simply said, “you’re making this up, liar, then talked to the Lord to get some extra strength.
v9For they all made us afraid, saying, their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.
Nehemiah survives that attack to come up against another sneaky one.
v10Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.
BCU Family!! This man, Shemaiah, was on the “sick and shut-in list” and Nehemiah goes by to see about him, only to hear that they BOTH needed to run to the temple, because there was a hit out for them [insert confused face]. Nehemiah recognized the shut-in was hired to frighten him into fleeing into the temple to save his life. Only priests were allowed in the temple, if word got out about Nehemiah running into a holy place because of fear (really, an empty threat), Nehemiah’s stellar reputation and all he had done on the wall, would have gone up in smoke. Obviously this wall was a real threat, because Team Tobiah got other prophets to scare Nehemiah as well.
v11And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.
v12And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
V13 Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.
V14My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.
“Would have” did not win, though! Nehemiah trusted God and now victory is coming up!
THE WALL IS FINISHED!!!!!!
v15So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.
v16And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.”
v17Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters unto Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came unto them.
v18For there were many in Judah sworn unto him, because he was the son in law of Shechaniah the son of Arah; and his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah.
V19 Also they reported his good deeds before me, and uttered my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.
As this chapter comes to a glorious close, what can we apply to our lives?
- The enemy only goes away for a season. Be prepared by staying tuned to God in prayer, fasting, memorizing the Word of God, recognizing and listening to HIS voice on how to best deal with an attack, so we live and walk in the Spirit versus the flesh (See Galatians 5:16-26).
- Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might when it comes to your assignment, so you are not easily swayed, hurt, worried or act in haste when an accusation or attack comes. Also, we do not need to justify in any detail what God has called us to do unless He says otherwise (See Ephesians 6:10 and Nehemiah 6:3).
- Fear, whether real or perceived, is a tactic that the enemy uses to neutralize, distract and eventually stop us from our divine assignment. Since God does not give us a spirit of fear, (2 Timothy 1:7) we need to ask God to rebuke it and carry it to completion in Jesus name (See Philippians 1:6). Amen? Amen!
Well, BCU Family, through it all, the assignment God gave Nehemiah is complete! Are you encouraged?! Me, too! For the remaining chapters, there are some details to attend to, so please stay tuned for our next post/podcast. In the meantime, we’d love hear what YOU took away from the study, so please leave a comment in the designated section below!
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Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!