Hard Times – Nehemiah 6. RBT Notes, 6th December

Success brings opposition. When you achieve something, don’t be surprised that your achievement rouses hostility from others. The wall’s gaps are filled in, but the hatred of the enemies of God’s people gets more intense. Sanballat and his cronies start to circle, like the wolves they are. And their strategies?

#1 Violence

They want to meet Nehemiah, but he knows that they have dark schemes, and so wisely stays at his task (vv.1-4). Even when they ask him four times, he still refuses (v.5).

#2  Insinuation

Sanballat sends a threatening letter, suggesting that Nehemiah is in the process of rebelling against his Persian governor (vv.6-7). Nehemiah’s response is two-fold: he dismisses this nonsense, and he prays for strength (vv.8-9).

#3 Religious game-playing

A prophet is paid off by Nehemiah’s enemies, and hey presto, has a word from the Lord offering safety, when he’s actually leading Nehemiah into great danger. Luckily, the leader isn’t so foolish as to believe a man just because he writes Reverend before his name (vv.10-13). Nor should we.

All of Satan’s strategies against the church today are pretty much still the same. Which do we especially need to guard against in our situation?

 

A Prayer to Pray

Loving Father, thankyou that You hold me when discipleship s stressful and complicated. Lord, open the eyes of my heart to see and know the dimensions of Your love in Christ, and may I know that, whatever trials and temptations I face, Your love is deep, wide, long and high. Amen.

 

Lewis Allen

Pastor, Hope Church Huddersfield, Director of Gospel Yorkshire, husband, father of five, football follower and dreaming fly-fisherman, Daily Reading the Bible Together blogger.

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