Wednesday, 21 October 2020
This was a trick of theirs to try to harm me. I sent messengers to say to them, "I am doing important work and can't go down there. I am not going to let the work stop just to go and see you." (Nehemiah 6:2-3)
God’s work meets with opposition either from the world or from well-meaning brethren. But the one to whom God gave the vision, will persevere even in adverse circumstances. The approach of Nehemiah gives us a clear picture of how determined and mindful God’s children need to be about their Father’s business- they need to be alert about the counsel of the ungodly and make bold decisions that will always give glory to our Lord and King.
The wicked never plan good things while in pursuit of their wicked actions and their counsel is corrupt and this is why the Psalmist David encourages us this way: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1,2) See how Nehemiah refuses to attend and adhere to the call of Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem, as he knew their plan was wicked. The plans and counsel of the wicked are to bring down God’s children, divert their attention, confuse them and condemn God’s victorious advances on earth.
The wicked are also good at condemning and criticizing God’s victorious moves with His children. In Egypt, when Pharaoh sees the victorious moves in the lives of God’s children, he puts his army together to get at them, and eventually drowns in the sea. I personally think, he may have received wicked counsel to carry out this plan which led to his own death.
Even the finished work of Christ on the cross has been challenged down the centuries. Billions of people around the world have accepted counsel from the wicked refuting the death of Christ on the cross. This is why Apostle Paul says in 1Corinhians 1:18: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” It is not through man’s wisdom that he knows God but through what some think as “the foolish message of the cross.”
At other times, fellow believers/close friends/relatives are put to task by the wicked one to swerve us from the path of God’s plans and purpose for our lives. Many are jealous of what the Lord is doing through you. Be attentive to every counsel you receive at any point in time, knowing that even brothers and sisters of the same faith can stop God’s advances unknowingly. Nehemiah too was in the same situation but he overcame because his mind was set on the Master (Neh.9:9-14). The religious but deceptive counsel form his brethren were just to frighten Nehemiah, ruin his reputation and humiliate him; Can you imagine this?—The enemy at work to derail God’s plans and attack his people with deceptive counsel!
Jesus was also not excluded from this type of deceptive counsel during his temptation- “Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:‘ He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”(Matthew 4:5-6). But Jesus overcame with God’s Word!
This points to us that no matter how committed we are to God and His service, we must always trust and listen to Him and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways, we must acknowledge him and above all, the authority of His Word!
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, help me to hear Your voice clearly and discard any counsel that does not carry Your authority. Amen