Focal Passage: Nehemiah 6:1-16
A well-known concert violinist was asked the secret of her mastery of the instrument. She replied, “There are many things that used to demand my time. When I went to my room after breakfast, I made my bed, straightened the room, dusted, and did whatever seemed necessary.
When I finished my work, I turned to my violin practice. That system prevented me from accomplishing what I should on the violin. So I reversed things. I deliberately planned to neglect everything else until my practice period was complete. And that program of planned neglect is the secret to my success.”
The wall was nearing completion. The walls were completed in 52 days.
But, opposition still attempted to prevent success. Sanballat et al. tried every distraction to pull Nehemiah away from the work and to undermine and discredit him.
As is so often, when opposition is thwarted, the enemy will attempt to distract and draw one away from the task at hand — “Come let us meet.” Nehemiah recognized it as an intention to harm him — “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down!”
If he would not meet with them, they decided to spread rumors that Nehemiah was setting himself up as king. His response, “No such things as you say have been done!”
Since rumors and distractions would not work, they resorted to threat of physical harm and violation of the temple. A friend was used to tempt Nehemiah to flee into the temple (thus violating the temple’s sanctity calling his own integrity in question); Nehemiah resisted — “Should such a man as I flee? I will not go in!”
Plagued by distractions and discouragement, Nehemiah kept his focus and heart in constant communication with the Lord (Neh. 6:14). What resulted was the recognition that the work had been accomplished with the help of the Lord!
“When work is pressing, there are many little things that will come and seem to need attention. It is a very blessed thing to be quiet and still, work on and entrust the little things to God. He answers such trust in a wonderful way. The believer who has no time to fret and worry and harbor care has learned the secret of faith in God. A desperate desire to change some difficult circumstance may take our eyes off God and His glory. Some suffering Christians have been so anxious to get well and have spent so much time in trying to claim healing, that they have lost their spiritual blessing. God sometimes has to teach such persons that there must be a willingness to be sick before they are yielded enough to receive His fullest blessing. The enemy keeps at this work. Sanballat came four times to Nehemiah, always receiving the same answer. How many fears we have stopped to fight which ultimately have proved to be nothing. Nehemiah recognized that fear is sin and did not dare to yield to it.” (A.B. Simpson)