Shared June 1st, 2014
“‘Come, let us meet together on one of the villages on the plain of Ono.’ But they were scheming to harm me” (Nehemiah 6:2).
Smart guy, Nehemiah. The people of Israel were in captivity. Later on and according to God’s prophecy, some of them would go back home. That was the case here. Nehemiah the cupbearer for the king had found favour with the king who then gave Nehemiah the opportunity to go back and visit his homeland. He gave Nehemiah all that he needed for his journey. This was several centuries BC.
Back home, Nehemiah was doing all he could to get the pillaged and destroyed city resurrected from its ruins. One of the formidable projects that Nehemiah’s crew undertook was the rebuilding of the broken down walls of Jerusalem. When Nehemiah and his fellow Israelites were almost completed with the rebuilding of the walls, enemies, particularly this relentless trinity of deceit, Tobiah, Geshem and Sunballat were so strongly opposed to their progress that they sought through trickery to deceive Nehemiah and get rid of him.
First, they laughed Nehemiah to scorn, despised his builders and even accused them of rebelling against the king (Nehemiah 2:19). They even went as far as trying to lure Nehemiah away from his work, four times sending the same message to Nehemiah and four times Nehemiah offering the same response so that finally, they resorted to inviting Nehemiah to meet with them in the Plain of Ono.
“O no!” was Nehemiah’s reply. He was no fool. He knew their Pinocchio stories were fabricated and that they were lying. Just as well he did, otherwise he would have been eliminated and God’s work coolly amputated. You see, Nehemiah’s answer to these satanic agents was based on his confidence in God: “The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem” (Nehemiah 2:18).
Nehemiah didn’t shrink away from these foul spirits threatening his vision. Don’t you shrink back from confronting this kind of spirit with the truth of God’s Word when such people encircle you. What did Nehemiah do? Like crazy glue he stuck to the job God commissioned him to do until the work was finished and the walls rebuilt. He didn’t allow himself to be sidetracked. He didn’t allow the nonsense of this trio to overthrow him. You know, whenever we get involved in God’s work, there is always opposition. The enemy, disguised as a helper will attack you at every turn and opportunity and know what? He does so usually at your most vulnerable places. He is a master of deceit and we, like Nehemiah, need to be aware of his devices as well as the treachery coming from his demonic clan.
Like the Bible says, more often than not satan comes as an angel of light and is disguised as a minister, teacher, lover of God and promoter of truth. That is why many sincere but sadly gullible Christians have been, and are still being deceived and toppled or led astray by these often authoritative-sounding, silver-tongued orators; I’m sure you have seen them on TV. Such deceptive leaders claim to be the Lord’s vicars but in truth, they are wolves in sheep clothing. Of these, do you know what caution Jesus gave to His disciples? “Be careful; be on your guard against the yeast [i.e. false teaching] of the Pharisees and Sadducees [by the way, these folks were the religious leaders of Jesus’ day]” (Matthew 16:6).
So, you’ve heard the warning from Jesus Himself: your enemy will come at you using trickery and treachery therefore be on your guard and watch out for phony people with phony suggestions and phony solutions. Are you in doubt? Well, when in doubt, always pray for God to reveal to you the truth. And finish the work He has assigned to you; if you don’t have any, ask God for work to do. Okay?
Proposed prayer: “Dear Lord, help me to know You, give my entire life to You and enable me to be a person of truth with the insight to discern the trickery of the arch enemy, satan. Please help me avoid the false teaching of his cohorts so that I am never led astray from Your Word, no matter the eloquence or the persuasive force with which they preach or teach. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Beloved, a wonderful weekend to you.