Nehemiah Chapter 4 – Fear

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Let’s continue where we left off on Tuesday with Chapter 4

1-5 The other empire officials worry over the building of the walls. They are angry and begin to mock and make fun of the Jews and their work. Nehemiah hears this and prays for God’s help.

It’s hard when we feel called to do something and others try to deter us. Has this ever happened to you? How did you handle it? Did you stop doing what you were doing or did pray and continue on in spite of the hurt and ridicule? That can be hard for us to do. Maybe as we pray we ask for strength and continued guidance.

Fear

6-9 The empire officials see their ridicule didn’t stop the Jews and that they continue on with their work so devise a plan to put a stop to their work. They want to keep the Jewish people in their oppressed state.

I think the officials fear what this might mean. Fear leads them against the Jews. They fear the Jews being strengthened, being empowered. They fear their own loss of power.

Fear, it can make us do crazy things, it can simply, make us crazy. Over and over the Bible tells us, “Do not fear!” “Do not be afraid!” And yet, fear often creeps into our being without much notice at first.

Maybe Nehemiah knew this and so he prayed and then went to his people to prepare them so that they needn’t fear.

10-23 Nehemiah hears the mocking and he cries out for God and requests God’s wrath to fall on his enemies. He hears of the plot and prepares the people. He puts out guards to be on the lookout and to protect the workers.

He reminds them all to remember the Lord and his greatness. They continue the work of rebuilding.

The Work of Rebuilding

That phrase, ‘the work of rebuilding’ immediately makes me think of building the Kingdom of God here on earth.

I couldn’t help but wonder if that was what Nehemiah was called to build. The Kingdom of God… but because of his context, where he was in life, where the Jews were in this time, he thought that meant walls, he thought building up the Kingdom of God here on earth meant rebuilding Jerusalem.

It got me wondering… how often do we misinterpret God’s call? If we sometimes misinterpret what God wants us to do based on our context, on where we are in life, on what it is we want.

Now Time to Share

What did you think of the reading? What jumped out at you? Where did your thoughts go? I’m sure our thoughts go different places depending on what is going on in our lives. Please share in the comments below what you are thinking. Let’s grow together.

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