Tag Archives: Nehemiah 6

Tobiah

In Nehemiah, we often hear about this fellow Tobiah, who was an Ammonite. The Ammonites were people who descended from the sin of Lot and his daughter. The other group were the Moabites (see Genesis 19:37-38). These groups were the ones responsible for denying the Israelites bread when in need (Deuteronomy 23:3-4). The Moabites led Israel to worship Baal (Numbers 25:1-3). Both the Moabites and Ammonites were the ones who tried to get Balaam to curse God’s people (Numbers 22). There was a lot of trouble with these groups of people.

Tobiah is mentioned numerous times in the Book of Nehemiah. We read that Tobiah was mocking Nehemiah when the great work was discovered (2:19). Later in Nehemiah 4, we read that Tobiah was ridiculing the work done for the wall (v. 3). Tobiah was angry as the work on the wall continued (4:7). We read in Nehemiah 6, that he was sending letters to try and intimidate Nehemiah from finishing the work God called him to complete (v. 19). Even so, we read in Chapter 13, that Eliashib the high priest allowed Tobiah to reside in the Temple in a storeroom, due to intermarriage.

All of this is a long history of trouble between these groups; however, in Nehemiah 13, we read that the group infiltrated the Temple of God. The sin that occurred back with Lot and his daughters, has now invaded the Temple of God. It was not something that just happened. It reminds me that as we shut the door so the devil cannot sneak through, he so often sneaks through the cracks. Here we have Tobiah desecrating the Temple and no one seems to blink an eye until Nehemiah returns and sees what has happened.

Today, let us remind ourselves that sin can slowly creep in and we may not always see so clearly what is happening until we have a great desecration. Be reminded of the importance to be in God’s Word. Cling to the Truth. Don’t allow yourself to be closely aligned with those who are deeply involved in the things of the world, or you may find yourself becoming involved in the world, rather than working on the Kingdom God has for you. Remember, your body is a Temple. Don’t allow the Tobiahs to reside in your storeroom. Instead, allow the Spirit of God to be the ever-present force within you.

 

 

Distractions

I have a hard time focusing—my attention has always been a battle. I’ve taken medicine to try to keep my focus, as I was diagnosed long ago with AdHd. Nothing seemed to keep me “me,” but yet a more focused me. Over the years, I have learned some habits to prevent me from adding to my lack of attention and to help me to stay focused. Even so, there are distractions all around for each one of us and we have to be intentional so we are not distracted from the “great work” God has called us to live out on our spiritual journey.

In Nehemiah 6, we read one of my favorite phrases: “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.” I love this! People were trying to thwart the progress of Nehemiah’s “great work.” The wall he was called to build was nearly finished. The gates simply needed to be put in place. As he was near the finish line, the distractions didn’t stop. They never do. There will always be people trying to stop you from doing what God has placed in your heart. The devil has been defeated by Jesus, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to stop any progress God’s children have in growing God’s Kingdom and on doing something that glorifies God. But boldly we can exclaim: “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”

Today, examine your life. Distractions can come from any area of your life. Are you living a life fully for God? Is God first in your life? Have you been facing a distraction that is keeping you from living out what God has for your life? Are your eyes focusing elsewhere? Fix your eyes on Jesus, “the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). He will see you through.

“And I sent messengers to them, saying, ‘I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?’” – Nehemiah 6:3 [ESV]