Chapter 14 of The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.
This week’s question: “Should such a man as I flee?” (Nehemiah 6.11).
Nehemiah had what may have been considered a cushy job in Babylon, but he had a heart to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls that had been destroyed and were still in ruins.
He started out well and after six weeks he was closing in on the finish line, but when the end was in sight, an enemy sought to derail him. Hawkins writes:
Sanballat— Nehemiah’s longtime nemesis— and his deceitful friends made a final attempt to derail him. They sought to trick him into a meeting that was designed to get him off on a side street. “Come, let us meet . . . in the plain of Ono” (Nehemiah 6: 2) was their invitation.
Many of us have gotten off on a side street. Sometimes in our careers or perhaps in our marriages. And other times in our ministries. We started out with a great plan or goal, but the enemy came along and distracted us.
Nehemiah, however, refused to get distracted. He sent Sanballat a message, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” (v.3).
When Sanballat realized he had failed to distract Nehemiah, he tried another tactic: the threat of danger. He sent a secret informer who said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you; indeed, at night they will come to kill you” (v. 10).
But Nehemiah responded, “Should such a man as I flee? And who is there such as I who would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in!” (v. 11).
The author goes on:
In contrast to Nehemiah’s perseverance, we live in a day when we see a lot of men and women fleeing, running out on responsibilities and opportunities and away from risks. This escapism takes all kinds of forms. Too many wish with the psalmist, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest” (Psalm 55: 6). Guess what? You don’t have any wings! You can’t just fly off. You can’t run out every time things don’t seem to go your way.
How about you? Have you allowed yourself to get sidetracked? Do you need to refocus on the purpose you had when you started your blog or other ministry? Do you need to recommit to your marriage or some other endeavor? Is there some area where you have let fear or escapism take over?
Let me know in the comments.
Next week’s question is: “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14.14)
Last week’s question: “Why are we sitting here until we die?” (2 Kings 7.3). Read it here.
You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.
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