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Archive for October 15th, 2017


Nehemiah 4: Hostile Plots

Sunday, October 15, 2017

We may recognize a familiar pattern in many lives.

Just when we believe our work is moving forward with purpose and success, an obstacle blocks our way to make forward progress impossible.

Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he mocked the Jews. (NRSV)

Just when our relationships are most fruitful and supportive, a loss brings stress that strains the bonds we have built over so many years and with so much effort and prayer.

But when Sanvalat, Toviyah, the Arabs, the ‘Amonim and the Ashdodim heard that the repairs on the walls of Yerushalayim were going forward, and the breaks were being filled in, they became very angry. (CJB)

Just when our work place is most fulfilling and rewarding, stealthy plotters threaten chaos and destruction.

When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall he exploded in anger, vilifying the Jews. In the company of his Samaritan cronies and military he let loose: “What are these miserable Jews doing? Do they think they can get everything back to normal overnight? Make building stones out of make-believe?” (MSG)

Just when our prayer life is fruitful and healing, duplicitous schemers find their way into the heart of all that matters to us.

When Sanballat heard that we Jews had begun rebuilding the wall, he became furious and began to ridicule us. (GNT) 

We may recognize a familiar pattern in many lives, and when we do, there is only one path of return to peace. We best thwart all hostile plots when we place our lives in the hands of God.

When we compare varying versions of how evil plots threaten the new-found order brought out of chaos, we open our hearts and minds to the healing order of the Spirit.

For more information on Sanballat, Nehemiah’s nemesis, visit: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13167-sanballat 

Tomorrow, dealing with oppression.

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