Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nehemiah 6:10-19

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 one 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, O my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who have been trying to intimidate me.
15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.
17 Also, in those days the nobles of Judah were sending many letters to Tobiah, and replies from Tobiah kept coming to them. 18 For many in Judah were under oath to him, since he was son-in-law to Shecaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah. 19 Moreover, they kept reporting to me his good deeds and then telling him what I said. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.

Questions to consider:
  • How do the enemies react to the word that the Jerusalem wall is finished? Why?
  • Does the completion of the wall assure that all is well in Jerusalem?
  • How does Nehemiah discern the intentions of the enemy?

Possibilities for prayer:

In the midst of trial and oppression, Nehemiah pushes through with the rest of the workers to see that the wall is completed. I think that what we have seen so far attests to the way in which the things that God calls us to are not always easy (in fact, sometimes they’re quite difficult), but if we’re responding to God’s call, He always manages to make a way. Today, let’s ask for the confidence and peace to believe that God will make a way in the midst of situations that seem insurmountable. Let’s also ask for God to give us wisdom to recognize when we are in His will, and a desire to follow that path.