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Nehemiah Six

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Nehemiah 6:1 Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;)

Nehemiah 6:2 That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.

Nehemiah 6:3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?

cannot come down. In this response also, Nehemiah sets a notable example for Christian leaders. It is counter-productive to allow God's enemies (or even compromising believers) to get them sidetracked into unnecessary activities or arguments.

Nehemiah 6:4 Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.

Nehemiah 6:5 Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand;

Nehemiah 6:6 Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words.

Nehemiah 6:7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.

Nehemiah 6:8 Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.

thou feignest them. God's enemies will even resort to lying slander against those who are faithfully accomplishing an important work for Him. Nehemiah's appropriate response was simply to deny the charges and keep on with the work.

Nehemiah 6:9 For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.

Nehemiah 6:10 Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.

Nehemiah 6:11 And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.

not go in. Not even the threat of personal assassination could deter Nehemiah. Carried by an ostensibly well-meaning (but actually traitorous) Jew hired by Sanballat, Nehemiah had to take the threat seriously. However, he would rather die than to commit the sacrilege (as well as cowardly act) of hiding in the temple where he had no right, as a non-priest, to enter. This would have so compromised his testimony that his leadership would have been destroyed even if his life had been spared. Christian leaders cannot afford to be swayed by such threats.

Nehemiah 6:12 And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.

Nehemiah 6:13 Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.

Nehemiah 6:14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.

prophetess Noadiah. God's enemies may even hire—or Satan himself may raise up—false prophets to try to convince Christians that they are not in God's will in what they are doing for God. The answer is for them to verify all such prophets and their supposed prophecies by God's Word (Isaiah 8:20). Sadly, there always seem to be compromisers—or even traitors—among those who profess to be God's people (see Nehemiah 6:17-19). These people will (whether intentionally or in ignorance) seek to get Christian witnesses, especially key leaders, off the track of true fidelity to Scripture.

Nehemiah 6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.

Nehemiah 6:16 And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.

wrought of our God. Nehemiah's faith, persistence and courage were fully vindicated when the wall was built, despite all kinds of opposition and attempted diversion in just fifty-two days (Nehemiah 6:15).

Nehemiah 6:17 Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters unto Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came unto them.

Nehemiah 6:18 For there were many in Judah sworn unto him, because he was the son in law of Shechaniah the son of Arah; and his son Johanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah.

Nehemiah 6:19 Also they reported his good deeds before me, and uttered my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.