The Wall Completed

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Deceit

Nehemiah’s enemies left no stone unturned in trying to keep him from building the wall (vv. 10-13). First they tried to draw him into the country to talk to them. When this didn’t work, they tried to get  him to go into the temple and hide, saying it was for his own safety.

  1. Their goal - to cause Nehemiah to do a foolish thing so that they might laugh at him and insult him for doing it.
  2. The tools they used - Sanballat and Tobiah hired Shemaiah to persuade Nehemiah to quit his work and go into the temple for his own safety.
  3. Their pretense - they suggested to Nehemiah that the enemies would come and slay him which he could have easily believed. They pretended to have much concern for his safety.

Nehemiah bravely withstood this temptation. If he had yielded, the people would have left their work and thrown down their arms and looked for their own safety. As a result, the enemy, without opposition, would have demolished the work, broken down the wall again, and gained their goal. Tobiah and his friends were very disturbed to see the wall being built despite their efforts to stop it (vv. 14-19). Their threats, which were intended to weaken them only caused the workers to work harder and get the job done before the enemy came. When the enemy heard the wall was finished “they were much cast down in their own eyes” (v. 16).

Application

I need to pray for people in leadership, like Nehemiah, that God will give them strength to stand against personal attacks(I Tim. 2:1-2).

Nehemiah 6:10-19 (English Standard Version)

Now when I went into the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home, he said, "Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple. Let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you. They are coming to kill you by night." But I said, "Should such a man as I run away? And what man such as I could go into the temple and live? I will not go in." And I understood and saw that God had not sent him, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. For this purpose he was hired, that I should be afraid and act in this way and sin, and so they could give me a bad name in order to taunt me. Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, according to these things that they did, and also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who wanted to make me afraid. So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God. Moreover, in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and Tobiah's letters came to them. For many in Judah were bound by oath to him, because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah the son of Arah: and his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah as his wife. Also they spoke of his good deeds in my presence and reported my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to make me afraid.

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