GOOD AFTERNOON SIBLINGS!
Today’s readings are Nehemiah 4-6
As we begin our reading….
Imagine the tension in the air, having to always have one hand free for your weapon should an attack occur. To not even be able to sleep away from your weapon, one eye open so to speak. They were doing YHWH’s work and they had to be at the ready for anything in the process. I would imagine this would cause them to depend far more greatly upon Him.
This is also a wonderful lesson that we are to pray and prepare. We have our part in things and often that involves sweat equity. Nowadays we tend to want to pray and sit and wait -but as the saying goes:
Reading these chapters today, pay attention to the tremendous effort that was put into discouraging, threatening, and sowing doubt into the minds of all YHWH’s people by the culture around them. It is almost overwhelming to even read about. How did they respond? They encouraged, emboldened, and protected one another.
“Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” from Neh 4:14
I want to encourage you to encourage a brother or sister in Messiah today. The world is coming up against each of us but together we are stronger and together, we remind one another of the source of our strength.
Nehemiah 5:1-13 shows how Nehemiah addressed the compounding problem of the poor among them – by reminding them of YHWH’s instructions. Truly, if we just lived according to His word so many of our problems would virtually disappear! The issue being addressed here is that the Father explicitly forbade Israel to charge interest to a fellow citizen. You’ll recall from our reading of Exodus that the Father had a social welfare system set into place that would allow the poor to rise up and not always remain so through several different possible avenues (click here for a refresher). For the verses forbidding charging interest to a fellow Israelite, see Exodus 22:25–27, Leviticus 25:36–37, and Deuteronomy 23:20–21
In chapter 6 we see more of the antagonizing of Nehemiah by enemies of Israel. They were coming at all of Israel like bugs on a windshield, and Israel, to their credit, gave them about that much attention.
I LOVE the interaction between the antagonizers and Nehemiah in 6:6-6:8, make sure you check that out. The Father is our assurance. Do not get in a tizzy when things of this world seek to deter us from His will. Rest assured that they will try do just that, expect them, and remain firm in the Father. Still, deception, lies, and fear mongering persisted and increased, but Nehemiah would not be dissuaded. In fact, he boldly faced them and then went about his way.
He had his assigned duties from the Father and He stayed on course, trusting the Father to clear the path for him.
So should we.
Book open, eyes on Him.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!