Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Nehemiah's nemesis

I was just sharing this morning at staff devotion about Nehemiah, as this was the current reading for our journalling. I am intrigued by the three names that kept coming up from Chapter 1 to 6, of Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem. In the rebuilding of the wall, these three are a constant pain to Nehemiah. They seek all out to do the following to Nehemiah and God’s people:
  • Get the Jews to stay at status quo, i.e. be contented with the broken walls. (2:10)
  • They mocked and ridiculed the people (2:19)
  • They got angry and question the Jewish people’s will, abilities and hope in rebuilding the wall. (4:1)
  • They got very angry and started plotting harm against the Jews. (4:7)
  • They use deception to try to kill Nehemiah (6:1,2)
  • They spread rumours about Nehemiah (6:5)
  • They infiltrated the Jews with a spy. (6:11)
Yet I noticed Nehemiah incredible responses to all these. He simply turned to God and prayed, and the content of his prayers are simply to re-focus on God as the One who is in control.
Upon the completion of the wall in Chapter 6, these three names disappeared completely as well.

As we do God's work, there will always be the Sanballats, Tobiahs and Geshems along the way. We can easily get discouraged and distracted. Nehemiah had taught me to always turn to God in prayers, and quickly too before we get too discouraged, and trust in Him that He is in full control.

With each challenge, pray like Nehemiah prayed, a simple re-focus on God again.

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