6 When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates— 2 Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.”Nehemiah 6:1-15
But they were scheming to harm me; 3 so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” 4 Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.
5 Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter 6 in which was written:
“It is reported among the nations—and Geshem says it is true—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king 7 and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us meet together.”
8 I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.”
9 They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”
But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”
10 One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home. He said, “Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you—by night they are coming to kill you.”
11 But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” 12 I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.
14 Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophet Noadiah and how she and the rest of the prophets have been trying to intimidate me. 15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.
As I sit to do my bible study, I received some terrible news. A man I know, who lives in my community, has passed away due to complications from the coronavirus. I am sad and grieve for (and with) the family. I think by this point we all know someone who has it or has had it. A large percentage of us know someone who has passed from this.
I want to keep yelling from my roof top – fear not! Please go back and read the post about overcoming fear if you are still struggling with it.
It is time to be the great intercessor that Nehemiah was in the early chapters of the book. We need to pray like it’s our job, pray for God to save and restore us. In the above passage – we join the story when Nehemiah is appointed governor and is rebuilding the Wall around Jerusalem. And when I shared about finding our calling in Christ not too long ago, I think it has now become obvious that it’s time to work – Nehemiah was building the Kingdom that God said to build and we are to be building the kingdom of God, Heaven; as in building up his people and saving souls. Verse 3 says “I am carrying on a great project”. And what greater project is there then building for Christ?!
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20 KJV
The great commission.
In Verse 2 (above comes the first potential distraction) – lets meet about this. Nehemiah sees it is time to work, not talk to plan and talk about it, and figure it out, or make compromises to please everyone. These distractions were designed to halt the work. When I started blogging my personal bible studies here – I had a few people who said to wait, to take classes on writing or to go to school first to be a pastor. I may, someday take classes or whatever, but I know God said to start it now. I do not have many followers – I can see how many people read this daily – But I am not doing this for follower, but because God told me to.
Verse 4 said the invite to stop working and meet about it happened 4 time. Then the 5th time, they threatened them, using lies and fear to discourage them.
“They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.” Nehemiah 6:9
Nehemiah called them out, speaking the truth – and prayed to God for strength.
Look around us, so many have fallen for this distraction. So many have not been able to overcome the fear of this pandemic or found creative outlets to spread the news of what Jesus is doing and can do. This is just a distraction tactic designed to pull us away from the work.
We overcome fear with the Power of Christ’s blood and work of redemption, with Love, like the kind of Love that God has for his creation, and a sound-mind, bathed in the understanding of the Word of the Lord. (2 Timothy 1:7)
We pray Psalm 91and pray for grace to endure – we should also, like Nehemiah, pray for strength to complete the tasks he has given us and overcome evil and the distractions of the enemy.
Verses 10-12: The next distraction is the one who comes in the name of the Lord, but is a false profit. Nehemiah has the gift of discernment.
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.1 Corinthians 12:1-12 KJV
I know I have posted briefly about the gifts – we each have our own and they work together. And it is important to review as we all work in our gifts to build this wall, during this critical time in world history. We aren’t made for such a time as this to observe – but to work. And although some have the gift of discerning of spirits we are all instructed to try the spirits to discern if they are from God.
1 John 4:1 KJV – “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
And finally – the wall was completed in record time. God is moving and in his time he will do it quickly. We are here at such a time as this: Either this pandemic will birth a great revival – or – a last hurrah among God’s children to call in the sheep before Jesus shows up in the clouds to take us home.
It’s time to pray – to share what God has done in your life – to make a difference in the world. We are here for such a time as this.
Grace be with you ~Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ Pray for our nation ~ pray Psalm 91