(19 verses, 2:10 to read)
- Nehemiah is attacked by false accusers in the world and false prophets, but the Lord strengthens him and gives him spiritual discernment.
MARK, LEARN & PRAY
- …1-9: Recognizing that Sanballat and crew meant him harm, Nehemiah refuses to meet with them. After he declined them 4 times, they sent a 5th message that contained a false accusation: Nehemiah is building this wall to be a king in Judah and rebel against the king of Persia. Nehemiah rejects the claim and prays to God, “Strengthen my hands.”
- PRAY: O Lord, You know the many false accusations thrown at Your Christians here: we are bigots and hateful, we wish harm to our neighbors that disagree with our convictions, that we desire to set up a Christian theocracy in America, etc. Protect Your holy, Christian Church here and everywhere from being weakened in their vocations of love, service, and prayer for their neighbors. Grant all Christians wisdom to live in, but not of, the world and strengthen the work of our hands with the assurance that You love us, are pleased with us, and bless us in our daily lives for the sake of Christ, whose hands were pierced as He took away the sin of the whole world. Amen.
- …10-14: After being attacked by the world in forceful ways, Sanballat and crew attack Nehemiah through a false prophet. Nehemiah tests the claims of Shemaiah with what he knew to be true: the Lord forbid him to enter the temple.
- PRAY: O Lord, grant us wisdom to test the claims of all pastors. Remind us that we do not get relief from the devil simply by listening to someone claiming to preach Your Word. The devil, in fact, attacks us quite heavily with false doctrine. You have not left us without something to test all claims against. You have given us Your Word. Protect Your Word, protect my heart and ears from all false teaching that leads to shame, vice, or despair, and bless all pastors to preach Your Word faithfully for the edification of all Your people.
- …15-19: The wall is finished and the enemies are afraid because “they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of God.”
- PRAY: Lord Jesus, grant me faith to believe Your promise that You never leave nor forsake me, that nothing can separate me from Your love, that the gates of hell will not overcome the Church and that if I have been united with You in a death like Yours how much more will I be united with You in a resurrection like Yours. These promises give me confidence to live in a fallen and sinful world and struggle with my own sin in repentance and faith. I live, move, and have my being by Your grace and help. Amen.
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