Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.  And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.  And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.  Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.  My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear. Nehemiah 6:10-14
The plot thickens; Nehemiah goes to visit Shemaiah, a prophet. We are not told why but while there Shemaiah suggests, “Let’s go up to the temple and hide for the enemies are going to come and kill you in the night.”Nehemiah’s immediate response is, “why should I run and hide, would someone in my position hide?”
Shemaiah had an ulterior motive, to get Nehemiah away from the work. Without a leader the work would fail. His plan was foiled when Nehemiah refused to go with him. As Shemaiah was expounding on this plot Nehemiah realized God had not sent him but his enemies, Tobiah and Sanballat had hired Shemaiah to give this false prophecy.
It was all “falling in place” for Nehemiah. He now knew why Tobiah and Sanballat had hired Shemaiah. If they could make Nehemiah afraid enough to hide it would be easy to concoct an evil report about him.
Nehemiah prays to God asking Him to reward the false prophets according to their own works.
As I thought on this portion of scripture a few things come to mind:
1. One does get “caught up” in his own deceptions.
Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive. - Sir Walter Scott
2. Nehemiah had a discerning spirit. Discernment is a quality trait we should yearn for. We need to be in the Word to learn discernment God’s way.
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; Ephesians 4:14
Have a blessed day,
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