Nehemiah 5:14-7:73, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, Psalms 33:1-11, Proverbs 21:8-10
Today is the 13th day of August. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It’s great to be here with you today as we continue our journey toward the middle of the week, and for that matter toward the middle of this month. I’m glad that we could be here together to take the next step forward in our journey through the Scriptures. And we’re in this really interesting, really dramatic story called Nehemiah and there’s so much for us to learn in this book about the way leadership works, the way that Nehemiah handled a task that he was given that was far beyond his capability and all of the oppositions that he faced along the way. It gives us such a life lesson. So, we’ll pick up where we left off yesterday were reading from the Good News Translation this week. Nehemiah chapter 5 verse 14 through 7 verse 73.
Okay. So, back to Nehemiah. Yeah, obviously the last part of our reading today was a number of lists about people who had returned from exile, but before that, and throughout this story of the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, we should notice that Nehemiah…like…he assessed the situation before he got anyone involved and then when they launched, they launched strong and they faced all kinds of opposition, but as we’ve read over the last three days, these oppositions only got like…it only escalated…it only amped up the closer they got to finishing the wall. We should maybe give us a little bit of an exhale when we think of our own mission, like where not the only ones who ever face opposition. This is everybody. And today we got to see kind of what was burning inside, like what Nehemiah’s heart was like, what was a motivating because he gave it to us in print form. He didn’t take the resources that was given to his position. Even though his predecessors as governors had taken their pay he didn’t. And there was nothing wrong with them getting paid for what they did. It was just that he saw the burden the people were under and as their leader he tried to live by example and lighten the load and be a part of the story with them instead of taking advantage of him. And, so he paid out of his own pocket what it cost for him to be in the position that he was in, which could’ve only showed everyone around him, everyone under him that he was in the struggle, that he was in it with them, but it also showed the people that Nehemiah was looking for this opportunity. Like he wasn’t looking for personal gain. He had one mission and it was a mission that burned in his heart when he served the King of Persia and that was to rebuild the wall to see that the temple would be protected. And so, that was it. He would accept nothing less or nothing more. That was it. In fact, Nehemiah goes on to tell us that he was so devoted to the wall that he refused to acquire any land. And that might be like well, “you’re just putting another feather in your cap buddy. We get it. You’re a good guy. You were a good guy.” But it’s actually a pretty big thing what he’s saying because this is Jerusalem, right? This is Jerusalem, who has been…that has been destroyed, but this is a city that is sitting in the center of things, a very valuable piece of property. And now, with walls going up and a temple going up, like this is the primmest of prime real estate for the future. Like, this is where you want to invest cause thus city’s coming back. He didn’t at all. It wasn’t wealth that he was after, right? It wasn’t in position or power or prosperity that he was after. He wanted to finish what he started, what God gave him to do. So, then Nehemiah faces the politics of the whole situation, right? So, ridicule didn’t work, taunting didn’t work, and they planned attacks and attacks didn’t work. And, so, they tried to intimidate Nehemiah specifically. First by inviting him to basically a summit, like “hey…come out to the plane of Ona. We have some things we need to talk about.” And the enemies of Nehemiah, the enemies of the people are just exposing themselves. They see that the wall is about to be completed so they want to get on terms with Nehemiah. Actually, they want to lure him away so that they can discredit him, but he won’t go. Like he will come down. He’s basically, “I’m up on this wall and I’m not coming down from this wall to meet with you.” And that’s when this open letter comes, right, this plot to send word all the way back to Persia to the king that Nehemiah has built this wall and is rebuilding the city and plans to become the king of Judah and rebel against the king of Persia. And even prophets are bribed in the mix here to discredit and make Nehemiah look bad. So, basically we’re watching the systematic attack on God’s plan that was birthed in the in Nehemiah’s heart. And Nehemiah, as the leader of the vision, of this plan, the leader of this whole effort, how he responds to all of these things, right? We don’t have any little asides in the book of Nehemiah where Nehemiah’s, you know, hiding out in some kind of house somewhere with his head in his hands asking if he missed God, right? Like with all of this that keeps…all these attacks that keep coming against me, maybe I just missed God or maybe I just missed it somehow and then we start to try to figure a way out of whatever it is. What Nehemiah did was keep moving forward. Like, one way or another, as slow as it might’ve been, one foot in front of the other, one little bit of progress forward every day. And I feel pretty confident that some of you needed to hear that today straight from the Bible, unfiltered.
Father, we come into Your presence, and whether we’re facing any of these things right now, we’re all on the same page about what we’re talking about here. Whether it’s our current circumstance, we know what’s going on and we’ve felt this before, and frankly, we’ve given up more times than we haven’t. So, come Holy Spirit and let us see this lesson that is just sitting here in the story of Nehemiah about continuing forward no matter how slow the progress and no matter who’s saying what, no matter the intimidation against us. If we know that You have asked us to do something, then help us to complete it and to do it with honor and to do it in Your name. Come Holy Spirit we pray. In the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.