Nehemiah 6

* Sanballat's plot to hinder Nehemiah. (1-9) False prophets try

to frighten Nehemiah. (10-14) The wall finished, Treachery of

some among the Jews. (15-19)

1-9 Let those who are tempted to idle merry meetings by vain

companions, thus answer the temptation, We have work to do, and

must not neglect it. We must never suffer ourselves to be

overcome, by repeated urgency, to do anything sinful or

imprudent; but when attacked with the same temptation, must

resist it with the same reason and resolution. It is common for

that which is desired only by the malicious, to be falsely

represented by them as desired by the many. But Nehemiah knew at

what they aimed, he not only denied that such things were true,

but that they were reported; he was better known than to be thus

suspected. We must never omit any known duty for fear it should

be misconstrued; but, while we keep a good conscience, let us

trust God with our good name. God's people, though loaded with

reproach, are not really fallen so low in reputation as some

would have them thought to be. Nehemiah lifted up his heart to

Heaven in a short prayer. When, in our Christian work and

warfare, we enter upon any service or conflict, this is a good

prayer, I have such a duty to do, such a temptation to grapple

with; now, therefore, O God, strengthen my hands. Every

temptation to draw us from duty, should quicken us the more to

10-14 The greatest mischief our enemies can do us, is, to

frighten us from our duty, and to lead us to do what is sinful.

Let us never decline a good work, never do a bad one. We ought

to try all advice, and to reject what is contrary to the word of

God. Every man should study to be consistent. Should I, a

professed Christian, called to be a saint, a child of God, a

member of Christ, a temple of the Holy Ghost, should I be

covetous, sensual, proud, or envious? Should I yield to

impatience, discontent, or anger? Should I be slothful,

unbelieving, or unmerciful? What effects will such conduct have

upon others? All that God has done for us, or by us, or given to

us, should lead us to watchfulness, self-denial, and diligence.

Next to the sinfulness of sin, we should dread the scandal.
15-19 The wall was begun and finished in fifty-two days, though

they rested on the sabbaths. A great deal of work may be done in

a little time, if we set about it in earnest, and keep close to

it. See the mischief of marrying with strangers. When men once

became akin to Tobiah, they soon became sworn to him. A sinful

love leads to a sinful league. The enemy of souls employs many

instruments, and forms many projects, to bring reproach on the

active servants of God, or to take them from their work. But we

should follow the example of Him who laid down his life for the

sheep. Those that simply cleave to the Lord and his work will be

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