Highlights In Today's Reading:
More than 100 years before the splendor of Jerusalem "the Holy City" has been reduced to broken down walls, burned gates, and the destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Kingdom. Nehemiah's heart is grieved. Learn from his prayer as he seeks the Lord's blessings and receives the answer. Ride with him at night as he inspects the damage and rejoice with him as a God-given masterful strategy of organization and determination rebuilds the wall and restores the gates.
The ministry of God is sure to meet with opposition when we decide to occupy our time on eternal treasures rather than the trash of earthly desires and do the will of God. Sanballat and his followers attempted to stop work on rebuilding the Temple and restoring the walls around Jerusalem. Expressing mockery, they asked: What is this thing that ye do? (2:19). Following this, the persecution was directed toward slander: Will ye rebel against the king? Any ministry initiated of God will suffer attacks and ridicule in one way or another. When the Lord's work cannot otherwise be hindered, an evil motive is sure to be suggested. Scoffing, scandal, and slander have always been favorite tools of Satan and of the Church's enemies to undermind the people of God. But God's Word assures us: Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world (I John 4:4).
Elijah was wrongfully accused by wicked Ahab of being a troubler of Israel (I Kings 18:17). Daniel was accused of disobedience and was consigned to the lion's den (Daniel 6:11-17). Christ was accused of being a malefactor (an evildoer) (John 18:30; 19:16-30). Our Lord said: It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? (Matthew 10:25). It is not surprising to hear false rumors, scandal, and vicious ridicule against a church or a person who has joined the faithful to Go . . . teach all nations . . . to observe all things . . . I have commanded you (28:18-19).
As the rebuilding of Jerusalem was opposed by many enemies, so the enemy of the ministry of the "Good News" has many attractions to cause some to seek a more favorable time to serve the Lord. Since the king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of the water: He turneth it whithersoever He will (Proverbs 21:1), then you can be sure every need will be supplied. What God initiates, He completes. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass (Psalm 37:5).
Thought for Today:
God's path is rarely the path of least resistance. But God's Word says the way is straight and narrow.
Through Nehemiah's prayer for his people (Nehemiah 1:4-11). Christ also prayed for His own throughout the ages, which includes us today (John 17:20).
1:5 terrible => awesome; 2:2 countenance => face; 2:7 convey me over => allow me to pass; 2:20 no portion => no part or property; 3:19 turning => corner; 3:23 over against => in front of; 3:25 lieth out => extends from.
Pray for International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Elsie Rager, Mrs. Audrey M. Johnson, and Mrs. A.C. Tarjan • Staff: Joe Brashier • Government Officials: Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN), Rep. Allen Boyd, Jr. (FL), and Rep. Eric Cantor (VA) • Country: Singapore (4 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Chinese and Malay • Religious freedom • 54% Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese Traditional Religion; 15% Muslim; 9% Protestant; 4% Catholic; 3% Hindu; .5% Sikh; .2% Baha'i; 14.3% None/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for those in authority over you (I Timothy 2:1-2).
Optional Reading: 2 Corinthians 8
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 1:5