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Bible Pathways - June 7, 2006

  • 2006 Jun 07

Nehemiah 4

In Today's Reading:

Builders opposed and ridiculed; Nehemiah's prayer; weapons for the workers; evils corrected; plots of adversaries; walls completed

Nehemiah determined to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem, even though there was fierce opposition. He armed workers with their swords, their spears, and their bows (Nehemiah 4:13). He also said: Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible (to be reverenced). . . . our God shall fight for us. So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared (4:14,20-21; compare Numbers 14:9; Exodus 14:13-14). Working about 12 hours a day left little time for anything else. The Israelites' faith had been strengthened through the reading of God's Word.

Sanballat again attempted to stop their work, saying: Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono (Nehemiah 6:2), about 28 miles northwest of Jerusalem. Nehemiah replied: 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? (6:3).

After Sanballat made five attempts to meet with Nehemiah, he then accused him of rebelling against the king of Persia (6:5-7). When this failed, Sanballat hired a prophet to foretell Nehemiah's death.

Eleven times it is recorded that Nehemiah prayed (1:4-11; 2:4; 4:4-5,9; 5:19; 6:9,14; 13:14,22,29,31). He encouraged his workers, saying: The God of heaven . . . will prosper us. . . . for the people had a mind to work. . . . So the wall was finished . . . in fifty and two days (2:20; 4:6; 6:15).

Once we recognize that the battle is the LORD'S (I Samuel 17:47), and God is the One who allows the opposition, we will not panic. Instead, we will seek to learn what the Lord expects of us in order to qualify to have our prayers answered. People of faith, though a minority, will always find a way to accomplish God's will. In serving the Lord, one great temptation is that many will find excuses to wait for a more convenient time rather than to put the Lord first and do their best with what they have. Jesus said: I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work (John 9:4).

Christ Portrayed:

By Nehemiah and other Jews who had bought back (redeemed) some Jews who had been sold to the heathen as slaves while in Persia (Nehemiah 5:8). When we were enslaved by sin, we were redeemed with the precious lifeblood of Jesus when we accepted Him as our Lord and Savior (Romans 7:14; I Peter 1:18-19; Leviticus 25:42).

Word Studies:

4:7 breaches =/i> gaps; 4:10 decayed =/i> giving way; 4:20 resort ye thither =/i> assemble there; 5:3 dearth =/i> famine; 5:7 usury =/i> interest; 5:10 exact of them =/i> require; 6:8 feignest =/i> made up the story.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mrs. Ione Boblitz · Government Official: Rep. Mike Pence (IN) · Country: Zambia (10 million) in south-central Africa · Major languages: English and 70 indigenous languages · Religious freedom · 30% Roman Catholic; 25% Protestant; 24% ancestor worship, magic, and witchcraft; 19% cults · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to give you discernment in all decisions (I Corinthians 2:14).

Optional Reading: II Corinthians 9

Memory Verse for the Week: Job 23:12

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