Nehemiah 6:17-19

I am going to make another slight change, this time to the memory verse for the week.  The full memory verse will be given, and I will italicize a portion of it each day as an aid to learning it.
 
Opening Prayer Thoughts
 
Praise and confession.
- Praise God that He created the highest heavens and the earth and everything on it. That He is God above all and He has no comparison. Psalm 116:16, Psalm 40:5.
- Confess the sin of viewing God inadequately and not dwelling on His immensity.



Truth for the Mind and Heart.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 34 – What is adoption?
Answer – Adoption is an act of God’s free grace by which we are received into the number and have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God.
This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Comment 
– The believer is not only declared justified; he/she is then brought into God’s family to experience and enjoy life as a child of God for all eternity.
 


Memory Verses to lay into your heart and mind. 
It is a privilege to lay into our hearts and minds the light and truth of God's Word. 
Philippians 4:6,7. “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

 


Please ask for the Holy Spirit's help as you read God's Word.
Please read Nehemiah 6:17-19.
Notes previously prepared by Rev. Dr. Tim Donachie, with slight amendments.
 
Ch 6:17-19 – A Spiritual War.
When people are involved in the work of the kingdom, it is absolutely essential that they are focused and have clear vision about what they are doing. It seems clear that the nobles in Jerusalem had no idea how deadly Tobiah and his allies were to the work of God. Nehemiah had realised that there could be no possible compromise with those who had tried so many different ways to undermine the work that God had sent him to do. The nobles could see some advantages to having a better relationship with Tobiah, and they attempted to convince Nehemiah that Tobiah was not such a bad person, 'they reported his good deeds before me'. Perhaps they thought that if there were a little softening of Nehemiah's stance, and some kind of co-operation with Tobiah, the opposition would cease and the work would be able to proceed. What they completely failed to comprehend was the spiritual nature of the battle. This was not just a minor dispute between two people on how things should be done, this was a conflict between those who were seeking to be obedient to God and to do His work, and those who wanted to destroy the cause of God.
                This demonstrates how easy it is for the work of the Lord to be penetrated by the influence of the evil one. There is a great need for spiritual discernment to understand and identify those things that are dangerous to the life of the church and the witness of the individual. The desire to be friendly with everybody and never to upset or annoy anybody can lead to the work of the Lord being compromised. Of course, the believer is to seek to live at peace with all men, but that can never be at the expense of truth and faithfulness to the calling of God.
 
Ch 6:19 – Fear and its Cure.
The short sentence at the end of verse nineteen is worthy of careful consideration for it identifies one of the greatest hindrances to the progress of the work of God: 'Then Tobiah sent letters to frighten me'.                We have no idea what the letters contained or what the nature was of the threats that they obviously contained, but what is absolutely clear is the purpose of the letters. They were sent to cause Nehemiah to become so fearful that he would stop the work. Why Tobiah thought that a threatening letter would have a greater effect than the threats already made is hard to understand, but the important thing to be aware of is that the threat of harm or danger is a constant tactic of the evil one to hinder the work of the gospel.             
                There are many fears that the devil uses to try to prevent Christians from doing the work of the Lord; there is the fear of rejection, the fear of failure, the fear of opposition or persecution, or the fear of unpopularity. The Scripture is very aware of the paralysing nature of fear, it tells us that 'the fear of man brings a snare', Prov. 29:25, but in the same verse it reminds us of the antidote to fear, 'whoever trusts in the Lord will be safe'. Nehemiah had evidently learned the lesson that was to be taught to believers in the New Testament; “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind", 2 Timothy 1:7, and “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment”, 1 Jn. 4:18.
                It was this trust and love that enabled the apostles to ignore the threats of imprisonment and beatings from the Sanhedrin, and boldly declare, 'we must obey God rather than men', Acts 5:29.



Sing with joy in your heart to God.
Psalm 102A. Link to the words. Link to it being sung.



Thank God
Thank God that, if we fear Him, we can face anything in life, knowing that He loves us, and that He will work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
 
Take care in Christ,
Andrew 
 
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley
Minister, Ottawa RPC

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