Nehemiah Chapter 6
So we continue on with Chapter 6.
Enemies within and without
1-9 The other officials become concerned about this wall being built around Jerusalem. They want to “talk” with Nehemiah but he fears they intend him harm so he refuses to meet with them.
The last time they write, they say that they’ve heard that Nehemiah and the Jews are going to rebel. That Nehemiah is setting himself up to be king.
~ Perhaps there is a bit of jealousy here? Nehemiah is doing something very strange for a governor to do. He is working side by side with the people gaining their respect.
Nehemiah thinks they are trying to frighten them so that they will stop their work by spreading these rumors of rebellion and threatening to go to the King, but Nehemiah turns to God and prays, “O God Strengthen my hands.”
“O God Strengthen My Hands”
10-14 Next they send an enemy disguised as a friend to get to Nehemiah. This “friend” tries to convince Nehemiah to run and hide – in the Temple! To go inside the temple and lock the doors. To shut himself away in the safety of the temple.
~This would make Nehemiah look bad, make him look like a coward, like he didn’t trust in God’s provision.
But Nehemiah isn’t fooled and he once again puts his faith in the Lord.
~ My thoughts at this point turned to Jesus in the wilderness being tempted by the devil. Jesus used scripture from which to draw strength.
15-19 The wall was now completed and Nehemiah tells us that their enemies were afraid having surmised that God helped them in this and yet… the letters of intimidation continued to come from Tobiah. Many of the peoples, nobles, were still bound to Tobiah so they reported back to him and also spoke to Nehemiah about Tobiah and his good deeds.
~My study Bible notes here that you would think Nehemiah would be rewarded for doing God’s work by completing the wall but he isn’t. It notes, “Faithfully doing God’s work does not always bring apparent rewards.”
And isn’t that the truth? The struggles of those who serve and obey God are often great. I think, (hope and pray) that it’s when we persevere through these struggles that we find our reward… though it may just be knowing that we answered God’s call and followed through even through the mire and the muck. I hope that when we do, we grow closer to God, stronger in faith and learn a lot about how to handle mire and muck.
Now it’s your turn!
So, what about you? Are you reading along with me? What are your thoughts on Nehemiah’s story so far? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s grow together.