Tuesday Devotions: A Study in Nehemiah

Welcome to our Tuesday devotions. Every Tuesday, we will offer a study in the book of Nehemiah. We hope you enjoy these devotions and will also follow us on social media at @thecovenc. We post encouraging Bible verses, upcoming events at The Cove, and much more.

Perseverance in the Midst of Persuasive Persistence

By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte

 

Nehemiah 6:1-4 (NASB)

“Now when it was reported to Sanballat, Tobiah, to Geshem the Arab and to the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall, and that no breach remained in it, although at that time I had not set up the doors in the gates,  then Sanballat and Geshem sent a message to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together at Chephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they were planning to harm me.  So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?”  They sent messages to me four times in this manner, and I answered them in the same way.” 

From start to finish, the bible tells us that the entire building project took a total of fifty-eight days. Imagine, in less than two months’ time, ordinary people, from all walks of life took broken down walls, and burned city gates and rebuilt them to their full height, but not without opposition.

We’ve seen the enemies of Israel employ several tactics to derail the work, up to and including armed hostility. Nehemiah and his men slept in their clothes with weapons nearby. They did their work with one hand and carried a weapon in the other.

Each strategy the enemy used, Nehemiah had to be creative to combat the attack. Today’s example is one of cunning, pretense and persistence. Nehemiah, however could see through the attempt to take him out and did what he could to avoid the confrontation.

The devil has not changed from the time of Nehemiah to today. When one tactic does not work, he changes gears and tries again in a different way.

Growing up my brothers and I played practical jokes on each other. For years, one of us was always plotting revenge for something, and one of us was constantly uttering the phrase “When you least expect it, expect it.”

In the same way, we need to be aware of the schemes of our old adversary the devil. We need to be on guard. Not everything is as good as it might seem, and not every open door is one that comes from God.

James 1:12 (NASB)

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

When the request came for Nehemiah to leave his task to come and meet. He spotted the plot, but he did not fight. No matter how many times they persisted, he stayed focused on the task that was before him.

What can we learn from Nehemiah?

  • Be on guard for all the enemy’s schemes. Don’t fall for what seems good.
  • Be submersed in the truth of God’s word so I will spot the lie when it comes.
  • Don’t worry about the enemy. Stay on task with God’s will, and watch Him work on our behalf.
  • The enemy is persistent but that doesn’t mean I need to change my answer.

Satan does not play fair, and we need to be aware of his tactics, one of which is persistence.

What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?

  1. What “good deal” am I in danger of falling for?
  2. In what way has the enemy shifted his tactics on me?
  3. What task has God given me to accomplish that the enemy would love to derail?
  4. Where am I trying to engage the enemy instead of staying on task?
  5. Where is the enemy wearing me down with his persistence?

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