Flipside Day 5
Scripture: Nehemiah 6:1-3 NLT Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies found out that I had finished rebuilding the wall and that no gaps remained—though we had not yet set up the doors in the gates. So Sanballat and Geshem sent a message asking me to meet them at one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But I realized they were plotting to harm me, so I replied by sending this message to them: “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?
Devotional: The story of Nehemiah and his efforts to rebuild the broken down walls of Jerusalem is one of the most fascinating in all of Scripture. Chapters 1-7 chronicle how God put it in Nehemiah’s heart to risk his position as cupbearer to the King of Persia, in order to seek the king’s favor in traveling to Jerusalem, the land of his people, and to rebuild that which had been destroyed. Nehemiah chose God’s purpose over his own comfort and security.
In doing so, he continued to have the favor of the king, but his efforts stirred up a few power seekers in the area named Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem, who were enemies of the Jews. They were incensed at Nehemiah’s success and continually sought to distract, disrupt and eventually to harm Nehemiah, as they wished to see Jerusalem continue to lie in ruins.
In today’s passage, we can learn a great deal from Nehemiah’s response to these disrupters. He is singularly focused on God’s purpose for him and refuses to appease these rulers: “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?” Simply put, Nehemiah chose God’s purpose and did not allow himself to be deterred by anything or anyone. He knew what God had called him to and prioritized that above all else.
- What about you? What great work has God called you to engage in?
- How might you be more focused on God’s purpose in your life?