Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Nehemiah-The Lies That Didn't Work

By Mary Vee
Nehemiah 5

From Nehemiah's Journal

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My name is Nehemiah. I had been a servant in Babylon for a long time. I was cupbearer to the king. 

The king of Babylon sent me to oversee the completion of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. It's been twelve years since I arrived, and we are nearing completion. We had a ton of problems during those days. The main obstacle was the leader of a rebellious army.

Sanballat, his friend Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies worked night and day to stop us from rebuilding the walls. They tried everything from intimidation to downright bullying. Even now that we are near to finishing with the work, Sanballat is up to his cruel work even more.

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This morning, I received a message from Sanballat. It said, "Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.  

Jerusalem is high up on a mountain. Ono is west of us and down in a valley. So, Sanballat thought I would leave the safety of a city surrounded by walls to meet with him in the plain of Ono? I think not. Did he really think I wouldn't know he was scheming to harm me? Well, I won't go.

I sent his messenger back with this message, "I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down to meet with you. Why should the work stop while I leave it to meet with you?"

Sanballat sent back the same message four times. Each time I sent back his messenger with my same message. I'd play his crazy game as much as he wanted, but I wouldn't meet with him.

The fifth time his messenger arrived with the same message, he also carried an unsealed letter: 

It is reported among the nations that you and the Jews are p[lotting to revolt, that is why you are building the wall.  According to these reports you are about to become their king and have appointed prophets to make this proclamation in Jerusalem: There is a new king in Judah! Now this report will get back to the king of Babylon and you wouldn't want that to happen. So, come. Let us meet together.

Did he really think these lies would convince me? I sent him this reply: "Your letter is false. you are just making up these stories in your head."

I knew what he was thinking, it was so clear. He thought we would get to tired to finish the work and not complete the project. 

But, I prayed, "O God, please strengthen my hands."

I refused to let this bully stop the work God had given to us. 

Come back next time to see what happens.
sources: New International Version, New King James Version 

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