So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing important work and cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you? ”
~Nehemiah 6:3, CSB
My persevering, the snail made it on to the Ark.
Nehemiah was attempting a great work, an enormous task and he encountered a lot of opposition. The local Arabs, Palestinians and Samaritans did not want the wall of Jerusalem rebuilt and they did everything imaginable to stop it. Sounds like the democrats, doesn’t it. First they tried to sabotage the work by offering to help: Nehemiah said, “Thanks but no thanks, we can handle it.” Then they tried to discourage Nehemiah and company with ridicule ad mocking. When that did not work, they tried sowing discord and confusion among the workers. When that failed, they tried to intimidate them by threatening to attack them. Nehemiah simply armed his workers and they kept right on building the wall. As the wall began taking shape, the gaps being filled and the entire project is coming together: Nehemiah’s enemies were enraged so they tried to distract him by getting him to stop the work for a meeting. They wanted Nehemiah to meet them on the plain of Ono and Nehemiah said, “O no, I am not stopping the work to meet with you.” They tried this four times and Nehemiah stood firm, refusing to stop work for a meeting. So they resorted to propaganda by telling lies. They told Nehemiah, “if you don’t work with us, we are going to tell King Cyrus that you are rebelling.” Nehemiah was not intimidated and kept right on working. Did his enemies give up? Never, next they tried to discredit him by sending him a false threat via a false prophet. They wanted Nehemiah to hide in the sanctuary. They wanted to destroy his reputation as a leader. Nehemiah said, “I am not running and I will not hide: they know where I am. If they want me, let them come get me.” Of course there was no real plot on his life and so he foiled their plan to discredit him.
Lessons to be learned:
- Anytime you attempt a work for God, you will be opposed.
- Stay focused on the work He has called you to do. Do not focus on the opposition. Freight Trains do not stop for barking dogs. Stay on track.
- The devil is a playground bully: he uses fear to control us. Do not be intimidated by him. He is a loser. He is a lion without teeth. He makes a lot of frightening noise but he cannot hurt you.
- When God calls us to a work, there are no excuses to quit. We do not quit. It is not in our vocabulary. The devil is not going to quit and you and I cannot quit. If someone makes fun of us, we ignore it and keep going. If we get knocked down, we get up and keep going but we never quit. The devil does not relent and neither do we.
It is like the Song: So let the sunshine in, face it with a grin, victors never quit and quitters never win. That may not be exactly how the song goes but you get the message. So dig in, grow some skin and stay on track until the end.
- TRUNK-A-TREAT tonight at Grace Point but we don’t start until 6:30. You are more than welcome to come.
- I was gone yesterday on a day trip with my older siblings. We covered 400 miles in 7 hours a half-dozen stops. Our first visit was to my great-grand-dad’s grave in FORD Cemetery in Madison County. From there we journeyed to Sand Mountain where our Uncle Charlie is buried. Then we went down to North Sand Mountain and down to Nicklejack lake. We drove by the University of South near Monteagle and on down to Windchester. From there to Crow Mountain and we ate at a buffet as Western Sirloin in Scottsborro. You need to check it out: all you can eat for $8. Of course they would lose money on Seth, Big L and Tyler. Old Gregg would have got his money’s worth in the day but he’s too old to eat like that anymore.
- Thank YOU LORD for another beautiful fall day.
- My daddy use to invert birthday’s or ages when it suited him. I got to thinking about me and my sibling birthdays according to daddy’s inversion scheme: I have a sisters 17, 28, 56, and 95. I’d be the elder statesmen at 96 and my brother John is 57. Total years in June’s Honda yesterday was 297. All that to say, we are getting old.