Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Parthenon at night

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Sep 26, Neh 6-7

Today's readings are Neh 6-7. Tomorrow's are Neh 8-10.

Nehemiah's enemies try to get him to leave Jerusalem and go out to meet them. A primary tactic of the enemy is always to isolate. When that doesn't work, they circulate rumors that he is seditious. Nehemiah knows where his true strength lies and responds to the false accusations with prayer. Notice that Nehemiah turns to God for his defense rather than attacking those who have disparaged him.

The next thing Nehemiah endures is a "word from God" delivered by a false prophet, encouraging him to hide in the Temple. But, Nehemiah knows his Scripture and knows God would never instruct him to flee into the holy area of the Temple. Again, Nehemiah's response is prayer.

The work is finished in only 52 days. Jerusalem's enemies see this for what it is, a miracle brought about by God working in and through his people. Tobiah, related to the High Priest (13:4) and having financial ties to some of the Jews, stubbornly continues to oppose Nehemiah.

Neh 7  finds the city secure with Hananiah in charge of keeping it safe. God led Nehemiah to record the genealogies of the returning exiles starting with the first wave led by Zerubbabel. These genealogies place the people mentioned in an historic setting, validating Nehemiah's account of the events surrounding the rebuilding of Jerusalem. 

Nehemiah's response to opposition and persecution is prayer and a steadfast commitment to doing God's work. This is  a good lesson for all of us. We also learn another lesson from Nehemiah. Once the work is completed, there may still be trials, but there is also security in depending on the Lord's strength rather than our own.

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