Read thru Old Testament Devotional – June 17, 2017

June 17

 

Nehemiah 4-6

 

3rd Return to Judah & Repairing of the City Walls (Nehemiah)     Nehemiah 1-7, cont’d.

 

Nehemiah 3:1-7:4        The Repairing of the City Walls, cont’d.

 

Nehemiah 4:1-6:14-The people of the surrounding areas attack the work on the wall.

Nehemiah 4:1-6-Sanballat (cf. 2:10) mocks the work of the Jews and tries to stir up trouble among his own people against them.

 

2:10 Sanballat. Also mentioned in the Elephantine Papyri as governor of Samaria, he assessed Nehemiah's arrival as a threat to Samaria's control of Judea. Tobiah. Probably an ex-slave, now governor of Ammon.

The Ryrie Study Bible, footnote on Nehemiah 2:10, p. 712

 

But Nehemiah prays for the people...and the wall was completed to half its height..."for the people had a mind to work" (:6).

Nehemiah 4:7-23-Word comes to Nehemiah that the people from the surrounding areas are going to attack them...so they set up a guard against a sneak attack.  Nehemiah encouraged the people to trust in the Lord (:14) and to remember that they were fighting for the future of their families.  The enemies were frustrated when they heard that their sneak attack had been exposed.  After that, Nehemiah divided his servants into two groups…one would work, while the other stood guard.  Also, the Jews worked on the wall with one hand and carried a weapon in the other.

Nehemiah 5:1-19-There is a famine in the area (:3) and the people complain to Nehemiah because they have no food and are having to go into debt with other Jews to borrow money to live on.  Evidently, there were some people who were taking advantage of this situation.  Nehemiah becomes angry when he hears about what is going on and tells them to release each other from the interest owed so that they could pay off the principal.  Nehemiah never took advantage of the money that he received as governor because this tax would have placed a heavier burden on the people...instead, he supported many people, himself.

Nehemiah 6:1-4-The enemies of Nehemiah tried to trick him into coming to a meeting where they intended to kill him...but he knew what they were doing and responded, "I am doing a great work and I cannot come down..." (:3).  They tried to convince him to come four times.  We must be careful of those who oppose us...they are conniving and dangerous.  Do not be distracted by them...either their threats, or their offers.

Nehemiah 6:5-9-A fifth time his enemies sent him a letter.  This time they have made up false reports about him and the Jews.  They threaten to send their false report to the king if he doesn't meet with them.  Nehemiah knew what they were doing.

Nehemiah 6:10-14-Some of the Jews tried to frighten Nehemiah...they were acting as traitors.  They tried to get Nehemiah to hide in the Holy Place...saying that some of the prophets had told them to do so...but this showed that it was not true since only the priests could enter the Holy Place.  There were others who were also acting as traitors (:17-19...people related to Tobiah who were writing to him and trying to influence Nehemiah...either through fear and intimidation, or by trying to convince Nehemiah that Tobiah was really a good man and he should listen to him).

Nehemiah 6:15-19-The repair to the wall was completed in 52 days.  The enemies heard about it and lost their confidence..."they recognized that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God" (:16).

 

Prayer: Lord, not only did the Jews recognize Your presence and blessings among them…but so did those who were opposed to them!  I pray that You would work in such a way through us…that even the lost world would recognize it.

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