Nehemiah turned around to greet the young man, but stopped short when he saw that Banah was not alone. "So it seems." The messenger had an open letter in his hands and a smug look on his face as he scoped the place out. Nehemiah didn't doubt that he was paying extra attention to their guards and any weaknesses they might have.
The wiry little man had a completely innocent look on his face, but Nehemiah could see the darkness in his eyes. Apparently Banah could see it, too, because he didn't move from where he stood behind the man on his right flank.
"May I sit down?" The little man gestured to one of the few cushions in Nehemiah's humble house.
"I think you are fine where you are."
"I see," The messenger said. He walked around a little bit, but stopped when Banah's hand shot to the sword fastened at his hip. Eyeing the sword, the messenger started talking. "It is reported among the nations and Geshem that you and the Jews intend to rebel, and that is why you are building the wall. According to these reports you wish to become their king. It also seems that you have set up prophets to proclaim this about you throughout Jerusalem. They are saying, 'There is a king in Judah.'" He stopped and looked at Nehemiah briefly, lowering his voice to a threatening tenor. "The king will hear of these things." Then he smiled again. "So why don't you come with me and take counsel with Sanballat and Tobiah. I'm sure that together, you can come up with a plan."
Nehemiah shook his head. He knew that they were just trying to scare him and the people. Well, he was done with it! Silently he prayed for God to strengthen his hands before responding.
"You tell your masters that none of the things they are claiming have been done, and they know it! They are imagining things to make us stop." Nehemiah pointed at the little man," They can invent whatever stories they want to in their minds, but our hands will not drop from the work God has given us." He flicked his wrist, and Banah grabbed the messenger and dragged him out.
Based on Nehemiah 6:1-9
In this section, Sanballat and Tobiah tried to lure Nehemiah away from the people under the guise of a meeting so they could kill him. They sent letters to Nehemiah four times, and each time Nehemiah answered that he was doing a great work, and couldn't stop it to go meet with them. Then they sent the messenger to Nehemiah, to try and scare him with rumors they had started. Only Nehemiah didn't buy it.
I love Nehemiah's responses here:
-I'm too busy.
-You are full of it.
Perfect responses to the devil, eh?
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7
Nehemiah had submitted to God. He trusted in God for his strength, despite what those men where saying and plotting. Because Nehemiah trusted and relied on God, he was not taken down by fear or evil plans. He was able to complete the work God had given him.
"Or how can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house." Matthew 12:29
Seem like a random jump? It's not. The devil can't just tie you up in chains for fear and rob you of your faith in God. He has to be let into the home of your heart, first. Only then can he plunder your soul and take you down.
Resist the devil. Don't let him into your heart, your house, or your mind! Be ready to tell him to get lost, that your too busy, and that he is full of lies. Be armed with your sword, your Bible, at your side. Have your comebacks ready, but here's one to start you off!
"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:57
V. Joy Palmer