We read today about the attempts of Jerusalem’s enemies (Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem) to frustrate God’s work.Â On four occasions theyÂ invite Nehemiah to a meeting with the aim of calling him away from his leadership work in rebuilding the walls and gates in Jerusalem. “However, Nehemiah was aware that leaving Jerusalem at this crucial time would mean the people would be without adequate and effective leadership and might soon lapse in their old ways.”
Selwyn concludes today’s study with: “The devil approaches us and wispers, ‘Stop what you are doing and explain your actions to others. Diplpmacy and dialogue will help you get your work done faster.’ There may be a place for diplomacy and dialogue, but the situation must be evaluated most carefully. Sometimes the suggestion can be a trap of the devil – a device calculated to divert you from your God-given task.”
Where God’s work is being successful – I think Satan is not far away. Satan is a real, intelligent being and he knows your weaknesses better than you know yourself. He will use anything which appeals to our reason in an attempt to delay or stop God’s work; and,Â his methods often have an air of reasonableness about them. [As was the case with Nehemiah – as outlined in today’s study.]Â We, beingÂ members of Jesus’ flock, Â can never be totally defeated by Satan (as Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross released us from Satan’s power) but we do have to be on our guard against deceptionÂ by bringing all ‘reasonable diversions’ to God in prayer.Â Â So that, the Holy Spirit can illuminate the path aheadÂ such thatÂ weÂ can see clearly – the way forward.
Do you see Satan, as a symbol of evil ‘power’ or as an intelligent being who constantlyÂ attempts to lead astray those who try to glorify God?