Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand;  Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words.  And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.  Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.  For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands. Nehemiah 6:5-9
The letters did not stop after number four. Sanballat sent one more, to try and “break him”. This letter was different from the rest, it was “an open letter”. It was not folded to keep the contents secret, but open so anyone could read and possibly put fear in the readers.
Letter number five was full of accusing remarks. “It’s been reported among the neighboring nations that the Jews are going to rebel and make you, Nehemiah, the king. This is the reason for building up the walls. You have also appointed prophets to preach at Jerusalem, saying there is a king in Judah. You need to be careful for it will get back to the king. Come and meet with me to discuss this.”
Nehemiah was not going to take these accusations lying down. He immediately answered, “No such thing is happening here, you are making up lies.”
All of this was done to make Nehemiah and the Jews afraid. If the enemy can tear them down with words and accusations, the work will stop. Strength to endure was badly needed.
As was his custom Nehemiah prayed, “O God strengthen my hands.”
What do you do when the enemy comes along with discouraging words? Do you fret and moan and groan? Do you turn to the One who can help?
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. Psalm 42:5
Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20
Oh Lord, help us to be like Nehemiah. Give us strength to endure the evil one. We thank you for the promise that you will never leave or forsake us.
Have a blessed day,
In My Own Eyes, I Flatter Myself
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