Nehemiah 6* Sanballat's plot to hinder Nehemiah. (1-9) False prophets tryto frighten Nehemiah. (10-14) The wall finished, Treachery ofsome among the Jews. (15-19)1-9 Let those who are tempted to idle merry meetings by vaincompanions, thus answer the temptation, We have work to do, andmust not neglect it. We must never suffer ourselves to beovercome, by repeated urgency, to do anything sinful orimprudent; but when attacked with the same temptation, mustresist it with the same reason and resolution. It is common forthat which is desired only by the malicious, to be falselyrepresented by them as desired by the many. But Nehemiah knew atwhat they aimed, he not only denied that such things were true,but that they were reported; he was better known than to be thussuspected. We must never omit any known duty for fear it shouldbe misconstrued; but, while we keep a good conscience, let ustrust God with our good name. God's people, though loaded withreproach, are not really fallen so low in reputation as somewould have them thought to be. Nehemiah lifted up his heart toHeaven in a short prayer. When, in our Christian work andwarfare, we enter upon any service or conflict, this is a goodprayer, I have such a duty to do, such a temptation to grapplewith; now, therefore, O God, strengthen my hands. Everytemptation to draw us from duty, should quicken us the more toduty. 10-14 The greatest mischief our enemies can do us, is, tofrighten 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 oughtto try all advice, and to reject what is contrary to the word ofGod. Every man should study to be consistent. Should I, aprofessed Christian, called to be a saint, a child of God, amember of Christ, a temple of the Holy Ghost, should I becovetous, sensual, proud, or envious? Should I yield toimpatience, discontent, or anger? Should I be slothful,unbelieving, or unmerciful? What effects will such conduct haveupon others? All that God has done for us, or by us, or given tous, 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, thoughthey rested on the sabbaths. A great deal of work may be done ina little time, if we set about it in earnest, and keep close toit. See the mischief of marrying with strangers. When men oncebecame akin to Tobiah, they soon became sworn to him. A sinfullove leads to a sinful league. The enemy of souls employs manyinstruments, and forms many projects, to bring reproach on theactive servants of God, or to take them from their work. But weshould follow the example of Him who laid down his life for thesheep. Those that simply cleave to the Lord and his work will besupported.
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