Nehemiah 3:15-5:13; 1 Corinthians 7:25-40; Psalms 32:1-11; Proverbs 21:5-7
Today is the 12th day of August. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you as we prepare to let go of a week, release it, and end well, finish strong. So, we’ve read from the Good News translation this week, which is what will do today. And back into the book of Nehemiah - chapter 3 verse 15 through 5:13.
OK. So, as we’re following the story of Nehemiah, it is just such a brilliant book for life and leadership. And, so, we started this whole thing yesterday and went through it about how Nehemiah had come from Persia to Jerusalem and how he didn’t just come and announce his intentions. I mean, everything was very, very systematic for Nehemiah and it took quite a long time to prepare. And even once he got to Jerusalem with the passion to rebuild the wall, he still slowed down and counted the cost and investigated the situation, like, looked at the circumstances, assessed what the job was actually going to take, what he was going to need to finish the job, how many people it was going to take - all this stuff - he’s assessing all this. And today the wall begins to be built. After he announces what he wants to do in everybody’s on board, they start building the wall. And it’s going up fast, like, this is a big wall by the way and a thick wall by the way. But it’s going up fast. And, so they kind of got it like halfway, all the way around, when some of these other people who have been living in the land are governors and leaders, powerful people, they just do not like at all what’s going on. And, so, the voice of ridicule is introduced today. So, we see Nehemiah’s leadership style. But now the work is underway and he’s leading this and the voice of ridicule is introduced. Right? So, they’re like what do you think you’re doing? Do you think you can build this? Do you think you’re going to be able to do this in one day? Do you think you can build something out of something else that was destroyed? Even a fox could knock this down. What kind of wall is this? This is all the kind of stuff they’re saying. If we look at our own lives and we’ve done all things that Nehemiah’s done, like: count the cost, truly, truly abide and wait and intercede and allow the whole vision that God is giving us to materialize and to take shape and form and then we get into the work. There’s going to be ridicule. I mean, there’s going to be. And we see it here in the scriptures. And what Nehemiah does is pray and keep going. And, so, the next set of obstacles that came, because they prayed and kept going, was that the level of threat increased. So, at first it was taunting. Right? At first it was ridicule and scorn. And those are powerful weapons that are used against us and that we use against others. This whole idea of shaming someone, scorning them, ridiculing them, making fun of them, that is really an assault on some deep places of identity and heart. We should never do that because we know what that feels like. And it calls into question, everything - everything that God is doing in our lives and everything about who we are. So, its formidable. And the way that it was addressed by Nehemiah was to keep going and pray. But Sanballat, Tobiah, and the people of Arabia, the people that were there, decided, ok, you know, where not going to talk them down. We’re not going to criticize them down or taunt then down or make fun of them. We’re going to have to attack them and that will throw confusion into the whole works. And that’s what the plan was. But there was advanced words about that. Nehemiah kind of suspected that in the first place but as the word came he thought it might actually happen, that it might not just be a threat, that they may actually do it one day, attack. And, so, he got everybody prepared for such an attack, which actually slowed the progress down because now everybody had to be vigilant and on guard and watching and sort of work with the weapon at their side. Like, people watching, half the workforce watching while the other half works. This kind of shift work and stuff like that. It slowed the progress down. But it didn’t halt the progress. The progress went forward. So even though slower, forward while everyone stayed vigilant over the process. These are such incredible life lessons. And then the next set of obstacles that came was from within. And this happens so often when, you know, it’s a lifelong mission or something like that. So, what was happening was so many of the exiles had come back but there wasn’t really in economy able to support everyone. And not everyone was able to get the crops that they needed just to supply for their own families, much less pay taxes. And, so, the wealthy Jewish people were enslaving the poor Hebrew people. And this wasn’t a new thing but this sort of Hebrew on Hebrew oppression was. And, so there is this kind of interior thing in the community going on, something that will create a class system and will also disintegrate the core of what would be necessary to rebuild Jerusalem - a people, a remnant of people, who have come out of exile that are completely in lock step with each other in unity in one mission, to rebuild the holy city. So, the kind of stuff that was going on with the slavery and the oppression of the poor could be more of an obstacle than anything from the outside. And, so, in Nehemiah, in just the two days that we’ve had in Nehemiah, we have the incredible encouragement that we’re not alone in the obstacles and pressing through of things. This is normal. But we also have encapsulated in the story a posture of heart within Nehemiah as he approaches what he’s been called to do - to rebuild, to rebuild the wall. But we see even a person who is truly singularly focused on an objective that God has placed in their heart, there are still unknown things that get in the way - big and small things. Some that have to be completely moved out of the way. Some that just have to be swept up. Some that have to be guarded against. In all things vigilance. And it helps us so much. And will continue to help us as we go through this book of Nehemiah. But this is one to remember. This is a story to remember. Because in one way or another it’s all of our lives.
Father, that is what we’re inviting You into today. The ways that we interpret the obstacles that are in the path before us, especially when we feel like we are very, very much following Your lead. Those things that become confusing to us because they were unexpected. We invite You into that. And we stop right now and realize You will never leave us. And just because we face obstacles doesn’t mean that You have stepped back and just left us to figure it out. Even You faced obstacles. And, so, we welcome You into these things and see them with new eyes. Come, Holy Spirit. We ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s where you find out what’s going on around here. So, be sure to check it out. Check out the resources that are available in the Daily Audio Bible shop. Check out the prayer wall that is there and pray for some people while you’re at it. And everyone will be there for you when you need it . That is one of the things that community is about.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at dailyaudiobible.com. There’s a link on the homepage. If you’re using the Daily Audio Bible app, you can press the More button in the lower right hand corner or if you prefer, the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill TN 37174.
And of course, as always, if you have a prayer request or comment 877-942-4253 is the number to dial.
And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayers and Praise Reports:
Hey, this is Jim the teacher in LA calling for Debbie in California. Heard your call on the August 6th podcast and I’m a couple of days behind, so, I’m probably not going to be the first person to call but…you’re so loved. Yah…you just called in for the first time and I can almost guarantee that this community has chosen to love you just because. But not just because. But just because we have experienced the love of Christ for us at our lowest points. And I know that you said that you’ve walked with the Lord in the past. I can’t tell you how many of us, including myself, have walked with the Lord and even while walking with Him have fallen in spectacular ways. And instead of hearing reproach and anger from Him, have been given the embrace of love. I understand that you’ve got to be feeling all sorts of things, particularly some fear and maybe some anger at your diagnosis. But I asked the Lord, and I believe it’s safe to say this, He’s not done with you yet. And I mean, He’s not done with what you are going to be doing for Him here on this earth. He has plans for you. And, ya, plans for your good…
Good morning Daily Audio Bible family. This is Dan in New Hampshire. It’s August 8th. I just wanted to share something that’s been on my heart for about four years now and of yesterday it’s finally come to a close. But when I met my wife she had a daughter. When we met she was about 9 months old and when we got married she was about a year and a half. And, so, I’ve been the father figure in her life almost since the very beginning and as of yesterday she’s officially my daughter and has my name. And it’s been a long process and I just wanted to share that monumental joy of…just…being…I’ve always been daddy from the very beginning…but now it’s as of the law…I am her guardian…I am her father. And, so, there’s two things I wanted to pray for. There’s me…I want to be the best example of Jesus as she’s growing up. And technically I want to pray for her biological father, that he would come to know the Lord. He’s never really been in the picture. There’s been a lot of…verbal…I want to be there. Pray for him. Pray for his heart. I love you family. Thank you.
Hey Brian. This is my first call and my grandmother, she has malaria. Just please pray for her. And she is in the hospital. She moved to another hospital. Now she is even more sick than she was before. Please pray for her. Bye.
Hello Daily Audio Bible family. This is Marcia from monument Colorado. I’m calling regarding a new listener named Debbie from California whose prayer request was aired on August 6th. She was just diagnosed with cancer. Debbie, if you’re listening today, I hear the great sorrow in your voice and I do understand your pain. You mentioned that you had walked away from the Lord but are now returning and in your returning you found the Daily Audio Bible. I know the Lord led you to this audio ministry because I know from experience that the word of God will be your strength as you walk through this valley. Sweet sister Debbie, please know that the Lord Jesus is very near to you and is walking this journey with you. He has not abandoned you. Please know in your heart of hearts that He did not bring a cancer on you for what you have done or not done. He is a good and loving Father. He is our healer and does not condemn you for anything in your past. You are forgiven and dearly loved by Him. He proved that when He willingly went to the cross for all humanity. Debbie, I encourage you to stay very, very close to Him. Cling to Him tightly and worship Him with all that is within you. He is your life and your hope. I know He will minister to you and you will feel His strength. Thank you for call. I want you know that it is my privilege to pray for you.