March 10, 2024

Don’t Believe All You Hear | Nehemiah 6:1-7:3

Passage: Nehemiah 6:1-7:3
Service Type:

# Ten years Bills restricting freedom of thought, faith and religion.
# 2004-2014...detention for anyone entering the country illegally.
# God’s Word is more essential than ever to live a life “pleasing to the Lord”. Like the
faithful in C5th BC Judah we have a mandate to live for God’s glory,
Nehemiah was a man of prayer and action showing that sharing truth and doing right
invites opposition and that avoiding stress does not contribute to victory.
Information overload is the burden of the age...e.g.... ‘Wikipedia’... Leaders, who are not
easily distracted are important.
Nehemiah clearly identified his opponents and recognised the weakness of his
situation....the gates of the city had not been replaced. v1
Sanballat sent a message to Nehemiah asking him to leave the security of Jerusalem and
travel to a village about 25 Km from the city.
Nehemiah’s assessment was: “They were scheming to harm me”. v2 “I am doing great
work [ie for God]. I cannot leave it and come to you.
Why should the work stop while I go to you?” v3
He set the highest priority on spiritual progress.
A wise leader will not permit anyone to hold up God’s work.
By grace, he will discern the danger of selfish desires and by his firm leadership
inspire confidence among the faithful.
“Four times they sent him the same message.”
Each time, “he sent them the same answer”. V 4
“Sanballat sent his aide with the same message” ... an unsealed letter. v5 Gossip about
Jewish rebellion and and implied threat.
Compromise with God’s Plan always ends in tears.
There are three things to note in Nehemiah’s response.
# v8 He exposed the lies in the letter.
# v9 He explains in this record: “They were trying to frighten us...”
# Nehemiah prayed to the Lord. “Strengthen my hands...[Lord]...”
He understood Zechariah 13:7

People ignorant of God’s sovereign power plough ahead like brute beasts.

Shemaiah [vs 10-13] was certainly not a prophet sent from God
He presented himself as a friend. “men were coming to to kill” Nehemiah. He
urged God’s servant to hide with him in the Templeand be safe.
Nehemiah’s response to this prophet of Satan highlights four things about him....
[i] v11 He was a man of courage.
“Should a man like me run away?”
Godly leaders lead from the front.
[ii] He was genuinely humble in his godliness.
Only priests could live in the Temple precincts. [ 2 Chronicles 26:16ff]
Nehemiah would not presume on God, or defile Shemaiah by breaking the Law.
[iii] v12 He was gifted with perception.
Shemaiah had spoken falsely because “Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him”.
v13 “He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would sin...”
[iv] v14 He prayed honestly
“Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, my God, because of what they have done.” v14
“Remember the prophet Noadiah and how she and the rest of the prophets
have been trying to intimidate me...” Note how

Nehemiah prays himself with a clear conscience in 5:19.
v 15 The walls were completed in 52 days.
v16 This had a devastating effect on the region.
Unlike the “enemies” of v1, the nations realised this was the work of our God. v17
Vested interests appealed for support to the “nobles of Judah”.
v18 they had ingratiated themselves through marriages of convenience.
Chapter 7 from verse 6 provides the record of the first returning exiles.
7:1 “ the walls and been rebuilt and I set the doors in place....”. Nehemiah
appointed gatekeepers, musicians and Levites.
7:2 Nehemiah appointed Hanani “my brother”. See 1:2;

“A man of integrity, who feared God more than most”.
He appointed Hananiah with clear instructions about access to the city. v3-4
Nehemiah’s walls resisted protected God’s people for 500 years. [Until 70AD]. By
then Messiah had made himself the perfect offering for sinners. [1 Peter 2:5]