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July 8, 2017

Chapter 5 revealed some of the issues that Nehemiah encountered within the community of Jews while rebuilding the walls, and now, chapter 6 continues to share the problems and attacks from without the walls.

When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem and unnamed enemies heard that the walls were built Sanballat and Tobiah sent a letter to Nehemiah requesting him to meet them in Ono which was 25 miles northwest of Jerusalem or equivalent to a day’s journey. Nehemiah sensing their duplicity replied to them, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” and he had to send this reply four times because Sanballat and Tobiah continued to send him the same request.

When the opposition saw their plan was not working, Sanballat sent a letter to Nehemiah containing three rumors concerning him. First, he was leading a rebellion against the Persian government. Secondly, he was trying to become king over Jerusalem and thirdly, he hired prophets to spread the word of his elevation to kingship. All of these rumored charges were denied by Nehemiah, and he took this matter to God in prayer.

Then Shemaiah, a son of a priest, was hired to speak lies to Nehemiah and cause him to lose his credibility by luring him into the temple which was against the Law. Once again, Nehemiah discerned the plan of the opposition, declined to act in fear and leave his wall rebuilding assignment. Additionally, Nehemiah prayed and asked God to deal with the opposition.

Despite the opposition’s insidious plans and continued plotting in fifty-two days the rebuilding of the wall was completed which caused them to be disheartened and having to admit the God of Nehemiah helped His people to complete this momentous task.

The chapter ends revealing the antagonism did not cease, for letters continued to go back and forth between Tobiah and his Jewish loyalist relaying information that would endanger and demoralize Nehemiah and the returned Jewish remnant.

The gleaning points that I received from this chapter are:

  1. Your opposition is aware of your achievements.
  2. When one plan fails, Satan has another one to replace it.
  3. Your enemy wants to eliminate you or discredit you.
  4. Watch for hidden agendas.
  5. Resist distractions, know your priorities.
  6. Don’t allow the enemy to stop you from doing your God-given assignment.
  7. Fear is a significant tool of the enemy.
  8. Discernment and determination are necessary for the life of a leader.
  9. Your opposition loves to spread rumors concerning you. He will slander your reputation.
  10. When you feel weak pray, it is your sustaining power.
  11. The response to slander is prayer.
  12. No matter what men may say, follow God’s laws.
  13. A false prophet will contradict God’s word.
  14. Don’t merchandise your anointing.
  15. With the help of God, things can be accomplished quickly.
  16. In the life of a believer, the opposition is on-going.


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