Wed, 12/24/2014 - 10:04am

Nehemiah 6.  Nehemiah has finished the walls around Jerusalem and word is getting around that God's people are strengthening their position.  Leaders from around the region have great respect for Jews; they are afraid of what might happen if the city is successfully fortified against attack -- they themselves are vulnerable to attack.  So a dialogue is opened between neighboring countries and Israel.

They sent messengers asking for a sit-down.  "Come, let us meet together in one of the villages in the plain of Ono."  But Nehemiah knew they meant him harm, so he declined.

Smart.  Nehemiah knew his enemies from experience.  That decision wasn't hard to make.  Even after repeated requests, Nehemiah held his ground.

Then something strange happened.  Israel's enemies sent a spy, a prophet to Nehemiah saying he should go with him, to the temple, and lock the doors because "they" are coming to kill Nehemiah.  Now, on face value this looks like someone who is concerned about Nehemiah and his leadership, and his requests doesn't seem to be out of line.  The temple would be a safe haven if danger approached.

But Nehemiah, "Perceived that God had not sent him at all, but that he pronounced this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballato had hired him."

Nehemiah was in step with God, walking daily with Him in fellowship, making righteous choices and honoring God and His people.  When something bad tried to come against Nehemiah, to deceive him and his people, he sensed the evil and KNEW what was truth because he was in fellowship with God.

Nehemiah didn't have the benefit of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him.  The Holy Spirit had not come yet.  But because he walked in righteousness, making good decisions, he was able to see bad things coming and avoid defeat.

Today, we are blessed with all the amazing benefits flowing from what Jesus did on the cross -- His sacrificial death, resurrection from death and ascension back to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.  But yet we don't make the simple and obvious choices to daily receive the power of His righteousness, to obey the Word and not sin.  We choose to live for ourselves, selfishly, and not see the miracles we could see if we chose to live as God intended us to live.