The enemy always conspires, consults, steals and twists so to deceive us. And I am not just talking about Satan, that ancient serpent of old who seeks to steal, kill and destroy, at times silent as a snake and again like a roaring lion, but I am talking about his workmen who carry out the deeds of darkness. Yes, humans do conspire and carry out pure evil conspiracies of all kinds. Although the enemy will often take the truth, twist the narrative and launch an accusatory, and retaliatory, attack against those who are wielding truth. Satan takes Scripture and twists it all up and down – look at his tempting Jesus in the desert. He even took the concept of the sword and trowel from the Scriptures twisting it into a perverted form of usage for the Masons. Fortunately C.H. Spurgeon used it correctly and in a God honoring and Christ exalting fashion (You can still get the Sword and Trowel Magazine today).
Considering all that is happening in our crazed country, not to mention the world, I thought it to be beneficial for me to again examine the books of Ezra and Nehemiah (It is seriously difficult not to read these at the same time.). It is interesting to see so many parallels. And although I have read these two chapters countless times over the last 20 years since having been saved (see my newest book, Reflecting on Twenty Years: Plowing into Eternity), I am always amazed at how much I have forgotten and how many new convictions, encouragements, and just flat out theological truths, the Lord reveals. Although I am only just starting to read Ezra, I was directed over to a part of Nehemiah chapter six today.
Look below at Nehemiah 6:1-9. Although the enemy conspires in an attempt to thwart God’s plan, we must remember, if it is the will of God, His providence and His work cannot be thwarted by anyone. We must also remember that the enemies of this world, of our country, of our personal life, and our intimate walk with God, do the same to us (as promised in Scripture), therefore we must not be foolish, unwise and undiscerning. We must press onward to know the Lord more truly, be conformed by His Word, grow in prayer and seek to do His will regardless of the conspiracy that is aimed against us. We too need to be about the rebuilding of what has been destroyed – both personally and publicly – both because of what our sin has done and what the enemy has done.
“Now when Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies heard that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it (although up to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates), Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come and let us meet together at Hakkephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to do me harm. And 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?” And they sent to me four times in this way, and I answered them in the same manner. In the same way Sanballat for the fifth time sent his servant to me with an open letter in his hand. In it was written, “It is reported among the nations, and Geshem also says it, that you and the Jews intend to rebel; that is why you are building the wall. And according to these reports you wish to become their king. And you have also set up prophets to proclaim concerning you in Jerusalem, ‘There is a king in Judah.’ And now the king will hear of these reports. So now come and let us take counsel together.” Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind.” For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands.”
Notice Nehemiah’s discernment, his actions and his resolve to obey the Lord – note: the context was extremely political. How might you and I learn from this today?
Peace and blessings, Jeremy