“For they all were trying to make us afraid, saying, “Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will not be done.”
Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.” Nehemiah 6:9 NKJV
Nehemiah was a conspiracy theorist – and he was right, there was a conspiracy! His physical task of rebuilding the walls is a beautiful parable of what happens in the spirit as you and I are busy doing the Lord’s work. Let’s dig in more… and put Jesus in our hand to strengthen it!
Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is from the book of Nehemiah, chapters 6-7 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). We began this book over the weekend – so let me catch us all up with a quick overview of the book. Most scholars believe that the books of Ezra and Nehemiah were on one scroll and are one book and have the same author. The book of Ezra and Nehemiah follow the same structural pattern which starts with a decree from the Persian ruler, then a campaign to go complete a task in Jerusalem, followed by conflict, and resolved in the most fizzled out, uninspired way. They also have a few weird quirks (especially that divorce decree in Ezra). If Ezra-Nehemiah are one book, then I am on board at that beginning and I have flat lined by the end buried in the unresolved conflicts – and seemingly contradictions to the word of the Lord through other contemporaries.
For example – Zechariah prophesied that Jerusalem should not have walls because God was going to place it in a bubble. And Nehemiah says to himself: “geesh, the holy city has no walls, let me go build them.” As I continue to study the word and mature – I start to form understanding which helps resolve this contradiction. As we know Zechariah is in the spirit world, outside of time, (like most prophets) when he prophesies. So sometimes elements of prophesy for other earthly times are mixed up together.
Let’s look at these from today’s vantage point and what we know about what has been fulfilled. A big headline in world news last week was that the USA congress removed their promise support of Israel’s iron dome and then at the last minute changed their minds and put it back (Thank God, The USA doesn’t need any more wrath from God). And Israel’s invisible bubble of protection has made physical walls unnecessary. Zechariah’s prophesy of not needing walls as God will put them in a bubble of protection has come true!!! Glory to God!! And it came through for my generation to see.
This means it was not for Zechariah and Nehemiah’s generation. But it certainly feels like there might have been a better way to handle things and not building a wall with your sword in your hand. Again – my own discomfort with how things played out.
Let us dig into today’s reading – being busy doing the Lord’s work. For me, at this very moment, I am called to write this blog and make earrings. I know I have more tasks in my future – but I cannot get distracted waiting on the future when right now I build – in the spirit realm I build with a sword in my hand. And there really is a conspiracy to take me down. I know, what I do is not very significant in terms of mega preacher who win hundreds of souls for Christ. None the less this ministry HAS set a couple captives free. It has transformed at least one life – these have been reported back to me. And I rejoice with ALL the angels in heaven for every victory. Jesus says He leaves the 99 for the 1. Each person is important. And if this ministry is purposed by God just to reach one – and it happens – then this is a mighty ministry in the spirit realm. They do not count numbers in that place – they count purpose. If in God’s will or not. If you are in His will the enemy attacks – if you are not, they do not care. If God’s will for your life is just to read the Bible and pray – and you do it, then you have a mighty ministry in the Kingdom and the enemy will attack. If you have no attacks whatsoever, are you in God’s will? Cause the only game in town is the enemy attacking the will of God for humanity – and nothing else matter to them – they know their own fate and can do nothing about it so they are taking as many people down with them as they can.
I do not often share all the attacks against me. Some are so bizarre. Like someone keeps trying to vandalize my house and throw bags of dog poop at it. Yet, as if I have an iron dome the bags of poop are all out on the street surrounding my property but cannot touch me. (I think I shared that one before – it is still happening.)
Less seen – the business (leather accessories business God told me to open a few months back) is doing exceptionally well for a business of its size and being only a few month old. It even reached the needed sales goal for me to survive at it. God be glorified!! So I started sharing and telling people – I reached out to online preachers share with them and encourage the people of the Lord who are losing their jobs right now. Here is the testimony:
I lost my job and God provided! God gave me something that makes me even happier and gives me the time to study the word more and pray more and fulfill His work for my life!!! ALL GLORY TO HIM!!!
Immediately, the spring was damned up. The orders stopped coming. The funds to survive gone. And I look into the spirit world and I see a damn. There are my promises – God promised He WILL provide all my needs. He will because He wills it. No doubt in my mine. I asked Him to do His will – I asked for His blessings of provision and asked for exceedingly abundant. I asked to be able to go back to supporting other ministries as well and giving to mission and going above my tithe! He will – it is written. But the battle rages and they have damned up my promises. I build the business with a sword in my hand.
I also build this ministry (my tasks of building and not saying I am doing the tasks that only God can do). And I do it in prayer with a sword in my hand. As things try to encroach on study time and prayer time and writing time. Or the days I do not spend my personal time with God – and HE STANDS IN THE WAY OF ME DOING ANYTHING HERE. If I haven’t spent the time – I cannot do his will. Some days it feels super anointed and some days it feels like an attack – no matter what, I dig in to do my Father’s will.
If God’s will for your life is to be a huge mega church leader or if He calls you to be hidden alone in a prayer closet simply praying 1 thing through – it is MIGHTY and attack worthy if it is God’s purpose and will.
We should also note that Nehemiah had a spiritual attack as well as a physical one. Sometimes humans are influenced by the enemy to do deceitful and evil things to harm believers – sometimes the fight IS physical. Sometimes. So I need to be very clear here because we battle not against flesh and blood – we ask the lord to forgive them and open their eyes to see Him and understand. But sometimes there are physical things we must do.
For example – the results of the Arizona election audit clearly state that there are more questionable votes than the winning margin. If you shuffle that and are evil media you can report that there are now even more Biden votes – but that is a huge shuffle of the numbers and speaks to literally one sentence of the multipage report. It is getting hidden in business. We know wherever there is a lie – the devil (father of lies) is involved. We know that the USA election was a spirit war and still is. If God will move His mighty hand and release us from the chaos kinda depends on “IF my people… humble themselves”. If we repent He will remove this from us – if we do not repent, our grace will be shortened. He has proven it and keeps proving it.
So this is one of those times where there is physical work to do as well as spiritual! We all must repent (physical and spiritual), we must warn others (physical), we must back the law suits with finances and signatures (physical), and we must have unity physically and spiritually with other believes – we must not be alone. And we must do all these things with a sword in hand.
I would be completely remiss if I did not speak of our sword. Let’s take a moment to understand what the word of God says about the sword. (and the full armor)
“10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” Ephesians 6:10-18 NKJV
So – what is the sword of the spirit? Luckily – we do not need to interpret – it is explained for us. The sword is the word of God. And this is why we do the memory verse challenge and are memorizing verses where we can stand and say: IT IS WRITTEN – and swing the sword. Just as Jesus did when He was tempted.
Many people separate this thought, of the Bible, the scripture verses being our sword, and the next. Which is – what is the Word? Obviously it is the inspired Word of God, His revelation to man of Himself and His plan of salvation. What more? The word is Jesus!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:1-5 NKJV
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 NKJV
Jesus is the word, the word is the sword – Jesus is the sword!
Nehemiah had a physical sword in his hand while he worked and a physical conspiracy but he did not yet have the victorious sword of Christ himself! We know Jesus finished it – the battle is won. We know we must still swing the sword and play out our parts. Part of having a relationship with God is participating. I mean, how long will your friendships or marriages last if you do not participate?
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
MEMORY WORK: This month we have another great verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand!
1 John 4:4 NKJV – “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
NAS – “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
ESV – “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
AMP – “Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].”
NIV – “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
BIBLE READING: Nehemiah 6-7 NKJV
Conspiracy Against Nehemiah
6 Now it happened when Sanballat, Tobiah, [a]Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, and that there were no breaks left in it (though at that time I had not hung the doors in the gates), 2 that Sanballat and [b]Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together [c]among the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they thought to do me harm.
3 So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?”
4 But they sent me this message four times, and I answered them in the same manner.
5 Then Sanballat sent his servant to me as before, the fifth time, with an open letter in his hand. 6 In it was written:
It is reported among the nations, and [d]Geshem says, that you and the Jews plan to rebel; therefore, according to these rumors, you are rebuilding the wall, that you may be their king. 7 And you have also appointed prophets to proclaim concerning you at Jerusalem, saying, “There is a king in Judah!” Now these matters will be reported to the king. So come, therefore, and let us consult together.
8 Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say are being done, but you invent them in your own heart.”
9 For they all were trying to make us afraid, saying, “Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will not be done.”
Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.
10 Afterward I came to the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was a secret informer; and he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the [e]temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you; indeed, at night they will come to kill you.”
11 And I said, “Should such a man as I flee? And who is there such as I who would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in!” 12 Then I perceived that God had not sent him at all, but that he pronounced this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 For this reason he was hired, that I should be afraid and act that way and sin, so that they might have cause for an evil report, that they might reproach me.
14 My God, remember Tobiah and Sanballat, according to these their works, and the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who would have made me afraid.
The Wall Completed
15 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 And it happened, when all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations around us saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was done by our God.
17 Also in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came to them. 18 For many in Judah were pledged to him, because he was the son-in-law of Shechaniah the son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah. 19 Also they reported his good deeds before me, and reported my [f]words to him. Tobiah sent letters to frighten me.
List of Returning Exiles
7 Then it was, when the wall was built and I had hung the doors, when the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed, 2 that I gave the charge of Jerusalem to my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the leader of the [g]citadel, for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many.
3 And I said to them, “Do not let the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot; and while they stand guard, let them shut and bar the doors; and appoint guards from among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, one at his watch station and another in front of his own house.”
The Captives Who Returned to Jerusalem
4 Now the city was large and spacious, but the people in it were few, and the houses were not rebuilt. 5 Then my God put it into my heart to gather the nobles, the rulers, and the people, that they might be registered by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of those who had come up in the first return, and found written in it:
6 These are the people of the province who came back from the captivity, of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to his city.
The number of the men of the people of Israel: 8 the sons of Parosh, two thousand one hundred and seventy-two;
9 the sons of Shephatiah, three hundred and seventy-two;
10 the sons of Arah, six hundred and fifty-two;
11 the sons of Pahath-Moab, of the sons of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and eighteen;
12 the sons of Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four;
13 the sons of Zattu, eight hundred and forty-five;
14 the sons of Zaccai, seven hundred and sixty;
15 the sons of [j]Binnui, six hundred and forty-eight;
16 the sons of Bebai, six hundred and twenty-eight;
17 the sons of Azgad, two thousand three hundred and twenty-two;
18 the sons of Adonikam, six hundred and sixty-seven;
19 the sons of Bigvai, two thousand and sixty-seven;
20 the sons of Adin, six hundred and fifty-five;
21 the sons of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety-eight;
22 the sons of Hashum, three hundred and twenty-eight;
23 the sons of Bezai, three hundred and twenty-four;
24 the sons of [k]Hariph, one hundred and twelve;
25 the sons of [l]Gibeon, ninety-five;
26 the men of Bethlehem and Netophah, one hundred and eighty-eight;
27 the men of Anathoth, one hundred and twenty-eight;
28 the men of [m]Beth Azmaveth, forty-two;
29 the men of [n]Kirjath Jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty-three;
30 the men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred and twenty-one;
31 the men of Michmas, one hundred and twenty-two;
32 the men of Bethel and Ai, one hundred and twenty-three;
33 the men of the other Nebo, fifty-two;
34 the sons of the other Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four;
35 the sons of Harim, three hundred and twenty;
36 the sons of Jericho, three hundred and forty-five;
37 the sons of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred and twenty-one;
38 the sons of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty.
39 The priests: the sons of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred and seventy-three;
40 the sons of Immer, one thousand and fifty-two;
41 the sons of Pashhur, one thousand two hundred and forty-seven;
42 the sons of Harim, one thousand and seventeen.
43 The Levites: the sons of Jeshua, of Kadmiel,
and of the sons of [o]Hodevah, seventy-four.
44 The singers: the sons of Asaph, one hundred and forty-eight.
45 The gatekeepers: the sons of Shallum,
the sons of Ater,
the sons of Talmon,
the sons of Akkub,
the sons of Hatita,
the sons of Shobai, one hundred and thirty-eight.
46 The Nethinim: the sons of Ziha,
the sons of Hasupha,
the sons of Tabbaoth,
47 the sons of Keros,
the sons of [p]Sia,
the sons of Padon,
48 the sons of [q]Lebana,
the sons of [r]Hagaba,
the sons of [s]Salmai,
49 the sons of Hanan,
the sons of Giddel,
the sons of Gahar,
50 the sons of Reaiah,
the sons of Rezin,
the sons of Nekoda,
51 the sons of Gazzam,
the sons of Uzza,
the sons of Paseah,
52 the sons of Besai,
the sons of Meunim,
the sons of [t]Nephishesim,
53 the sons of Bakbuk,
the sons of Hakupha,
the sons of Harhur,
54 the sons of [u]Bazlith,
the sons of Mehida,
the sons of Harsha,
55 the sons of Barkos,
the sons of Sisera,
the sons of Tamah,
56 the sons of Neziah,
and the sons of Hatipha.
57 The sons of Solomon’s servants: the sons of Sotai,
the sons of Sophereth,
the sons of [v]Perida,
58 the sons of Jaala,
the sons of Darkon,
the sons of Giddel,
59 the sons of Shephatiah,
the sons of Hattil,
the sons of Pochereth of Zebaim,
and the sons of [w]Amon.
60 All the Nethinim, and the sons of Solomon’s servants, were three hundred and ninety-two.
61 And these were the ones who came up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, [x]Addon, and Immer, but they could not identify their father’s house nor their lineage, whether they were of Israel: 62 the sons of Delaiah,
the sons of Tobiah,
the sons of Nekoda, six hundred and forty-two;
63 and of the priests: the sons of Habaiah,
the sons of [y]Koz,
the sons of Barzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called by their name.
64 These sought their listing among those who were registered by genealogy, but it was not found; therefore they were excluded from the priesthood as defiled. 65 And the [z]governor said to them that they should not eat of the most holy things till a priest could consult with the Urim and Thummim.
66 Altogether the whole assembly was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty, 67 besides their male and female servants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven; and they had two hundred and forty-five men and women singers. 68 Their horses were seven hundred and thirty-six, their mules two hundred and forty-five, 69 their camels four hundred and thirty-five, and donkeys six thousand seven hundred and twenty.
70 And some of the heads of the fathers’ houses gave to the work. The [aa]governor gave to the treasury one thousand gold drachmas, fifty basins, and five hundred and thirty priestly garments. 71 Some of the heads of the fathers’ houses gave to the treasury of the work twenty thousand gold drachmas, and two thousand two hundred silver minas. 72 And that which the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand gold drachmas, two thousand silver minas, and sixty-seven priestly garments.
73 So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the Nethinim, and all Israel dwelt in their cities.
Ezra Reads the Law
When the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities.
- Nehemiah 6:1 Or Gashmu
- Nehemiah 6:2 Or Gashmu
- Nehemiah 6:2 Or in Kephirim, exact location unknown
- Nehemiah 6:6 Heb. Gashmu
- Nehemiah 6:10 Lit. house
- Nehemiah 6:19 Or affairs
- Nehemiah 7:2 palace
- Nehemiah 7:7 Seraiah, Ezra 2:2
- Nehemiah 7:7 Mispar, Ezra 2:2
- Nehemiah 7:15 Bani, Ezra 2:10
- Nehemiah 7:24 Jorah, Ezra 2:18
- Nehemiah 7:25 Gibbar, Ezra 2:20
- Nehemiah 7:28 Azmaveth, Ezra 2:24
- Nehemiah 7:29 Kirjath Arim, Ezra 2:25
- Nehemiah 7:43 Hodaviah, Ezra 2:40; or Judah, Ezra 3:9
- Nehemiah 7:47 Siaha, Ezra 2:44
- Nehemiah 7:48 MT Lebanah
- Nehemiah 7:48 MT Hogabah
- Nehemiah 7:48 Shalmai, Ezra 2:46; or Shamlai
- Nehemiah 7:52 Nephusim, Ezra 2:50
- Nehemiah 7:54 Bazluth, Ezra 2:52
- Nehemiah 7:57 Peruda, Ezra 2:55
- Nehemiah 7:59 Ami, Ezra 2:57
- Nehemiah 7:61 Addan, Ezra 2:59
- Nehemiah 7:63 Or Hakkoz
- Nehemiah 7:65 Heb. Tirshatha
- Nehemiah 7:70 Heb. Tirshatha