Nehemiah and his men, in chapter 6, had rebuilt the wall, but not yet set the doors in place, and opposition continued with repeated urgency. “Come, let us meet together in the plain of Ono,” but each time, Nehemiah said ‘oh no’ to the distraction of Ono, knowing they intended to do him harm. Then deception hit—a false report on his intent (rebellion to become king), and Nehemiah quickly refused its lie and prayed, “But now, O God, strengthen my hands.” Next came discouragement in the form of a threat for his safety and resulting temptation to take cover in the temple. His constant prayer gave him insight to know he was the target of hired enemies. His refuge? Prayer. He left the issues and the perpetrators in God’s hands, and set his own hands and mind to ‘finish the wall,’ and finish it he did.
“Be strong and very courageous, being careful to do all…commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This book shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night. Do not be frightened, do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7-9
“Arm me with jealous care, Thy calling to fulfill, And may it all my powers engage To do my Master’s will.” – Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
O, Master, when distraction, deception, discouragement come, keep my mind and hands strong to stay in the center of Your will, to do all You have assigned, and to leave all cares to You.