KJB Daily Devotion – Following Jesus Through Every Chapter
Date: Friday, May 20, 2016
Chapters: Nehemiah 1-4
Message: Fighting Off Opposition
Hello My Friend,
The Book of Nehemiah is the sixteenth book of the Old Testament/Bible and contains thirteen chapters. The author of the book is Nehemiah and it was originally written to the Jews. The timeline for these events are approximately 446 BC to 434 BC. The purpose of the book was to continue showing the history of Israel and the rebuilding of Jerusalem. What we are to learn from the book is that there will always be opposition whenever we choose to serve God, but work without faith is dead. “And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.” – Nehemiah 6:16.
About ten years after Ezra gathered people to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem a relative of Nehemiah’s arrived in Persia and told Nehemiah of the conditions that still existed there. Nehemiah, who knew the Scriptures and the power of prayer and fasting, stood before God.
“Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer.” – Nehemiah 1:6-11.
“yet will I gather them from thence,” Nehemiah reminded God of the promise He made to His people, and even though they were scattered all over the world, he knew one day God would gather them together as one in His Kingdom. While God does not need us to give Him reminders of His promises, He does like to know that we acknowledge His Word and have faith in it. Jew or not, God will bring His people who are scattered all over to His Kingdom. “Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.” – Romans 9:24-26.
Nehemiah left all the luxuries of home, and, by faith, headed for Jerusalem, when he arrived he was devastated at the conditions of the place where God put His name. “And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work. Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work. But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king? Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.” – Nehemiah 2:16-20.
“Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me;” The best way to get people to see God is to never stop being a testimony. We need to tell them how God blessed us so and not be ashamed to say, I am who I am because of God’s mercy and grace. So many people are struggling, they search for hope, but the majority of the time the corrupted leaders are the ones giving them false hope, they will do anything to have hope of something better. All it takes is one person willing to give it all for God, no matter how much opposition you get to bring true hope, everlasting hope, but we as Christians must be willing to get out of our comfort zones and be that hope. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” – Romans 12:1-3.
The work began and everything was going great, that was until the corrupted leaders realized what was going on. They did not let the people stop them and formed a plan to keep working day and night. A group would work while another would keep watch and fight off any opposition. “They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me. And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another. In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us. So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared. Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day. So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing.” – Nehemiah 4:17-23.
“our God shall fight for us.” Nehemiah knew that God was on his side and that as long as he was in His will he had nothing to fear. Of course, the closer we draw near to God, the more opposition we will face from the devil. He will send many people and objects in our path to try and stop us from being so faithful to God. However, God gives us the power to stand up and continue to do His work without fear. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” – 2 Timothy 1:7-9.
Jesus Christ Revealed: Today, Jesus is revealed through king Artaxerxes who asked Nehemiah what his request was (2:4). Jesus is our source to God and answered prayers. We are not limited to certain moments in our addresses to the King of Kings, we have access to the throne of Grace every time of need. “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” – John 14:14.
Today’s Prayer: God, As Your child I know I can do all things through Christ, I know I have let obstacles try to talk me into giving up. Thankfully, You never give up on me so easily and are eager to get me back on my feet and looking for that hope that only You can give. Lord, give me Your power to break through every obstacle, to have confidence in You, to trust You in every decision I make. Help me to let go of any obstacles that keep me from moving forward, and keep me looking to You for that hope that no one else can give me. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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