Conspiracy Against Nehemiah
Neh 6:1 Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;)
Neh 6:2 That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.
Neh 6:3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?
Neh 6:4 Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.
Neh 6:5 Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand;
Neh 6:6 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.
Neh 6:7 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.
Neh 6:8 Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.
Neh 6:9 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.
Neh 6:10 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.
Neh 6:11 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.
Neh 6:12 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.
Neh 6:13 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.
Neh 6:14 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.
The story of Nehemiah and the conflicts he had with Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem teaches us a lot about the critics of the world and how to deal with them. The verses above give a short overview, but I recommend reading the entire book of Nehemiah, it's rich with many life lessons.
An occupational hazard of being a leader is receiving criticism, and not always instructive. When this happens it's easy to want to throw in the towel, and call it quits. Many fade into obscurity, and aim for a life of a recluse, or hermit. I've been tempted many times.
Anybody who does anything that's out of the ordinary, goes off the main track that the majority is moving in, faces conflicts and no shortage of armchair critics.
Theodore Roosevelt met with many know it all critics, and I appreciate his response to them.
I've learned the truth of his words in my life, in several timespans, and in more than one endeavor. One of the most important, and lasting in my life, was purchasing my first Arabian horse, and embarking on a journey of learning how to train this beautiful, graceful animal with knowledge, and skill. It took many years, many mistakes along the way, but also victories, that grew into a business that lasted many years. Many hours were spent in learning how to understand the proper principles of training the horse, and develop a relationship with them, and bring them to a level of ability, that they would have the desire and heart to win, and many of them did. The things I learned in training them, and the years of giving lessons to other's, gained for me an understanding of what Theodore Roosevelt meant in his remarks. I use what I learned during those years, in my life to this day.
Open honesty in daily life, in the midst of criticism, and being able to sift fact and truth from condemnation and lies-there is a big difference. Horses are very intelligent animals, and you can't fool them. They know there's only one who's in charge, and they know all the time if it's you, or the horse.
Nehemiah had his share of critics. Reading his story is an eye opener on how to deal with the critics in your life. He kept his cool, and stayed focused on the job before him. He considered the source of the criticism, and refused to get discouraged. He also went to God in prayer. Most importantly, he kept building the wall.
If God's given you something to do, and it's not what the majority are doing-and you're getting a lot of criticism for it, use Nehemiah as a source of strategy in how to deal with it, and keep going. Dare to be different. Be willing to make mistakes, and even fail. If God is in it, success does not mean popularity, it means remaining steadfast, regardless of the attacks, and even if no one is following. Remember, just before Jesus went to the cross, everybody left him-only the Father remained. Following the will of God, may lead you in the same lonely path. Jesus is worth it. I follow winners-and Jesus won, He's risen from the grave. There is victory, in Jesus.
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The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
But this is that which was spoken by the
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: