Much to do today so a quick thought gleaned from Nehemiah study yesterday. While it is quick and brief, it packs a punch that is hard to take and knocks the breath out of me a bit.
At the end of Chapter Six the repairs of the wall around Jerusalem has been completed in a mere 52 days. Nehemiah still has some fine details to wrap up; like installing the doors in the gates and rebuilding the houses so people can actually move back into the city.
His nemesis from the beginning of the project, a fellow named Tobiah was still working hard to discourage him even though it was clear that God had helped the Jews do a nearly impossible task in record time. But the shocker is, this man from Samaria has help and it is coming from the Jewish nobles.
It would seem Tobiah had married into the family and made some friends who were willing to team up with him to intimidate Nehemiah. They possibly liked what Tobiah could do for them economically. The nobles of the area were writing letters to Nehemiah telling about all the good things Tobiah had done and Tobiah was writing letters to intimidate Nehemiah from finishing.
In the study, Kelly Minter pointed out that these letters would be the equivalent of our texts, emails and social media posts. As I was studying this yesterday and taking it in, I noted in the margin of my Bible that I need to remember not everyone who is in the faith community is at odds with those who are opposed to God’s plan, will and the callings He places on leaders. Others who would seem to be on the same team as me have agendas that God’s plan may interfere with
Kelly puts it like this:
“Good deeds, whatever they may be, never trump a heart that deceives, mocks or uses intimidation.”Kelly Minter, Nehemiah a Heart that can Break; Lifeway Press 2012, pg 83
I want to make sure my heart is aligned with my Lord Jesus Christ. I want to make sure I don’t get confused and assign “godliness” to the good works of someone and become deceived by a leader whose heart is not set on what God’s heart is set on. And I want to make sure my own heart is guarded against that which would compromise what I know to be true, nor to cower when intimidated by anyone or anything that distracts me from God’s clear calling.
I pray we will have discernment and focus as we walk out this journey <3