READING: Nehemiah 6-7, Acts 13:13-41
Here are a few realities that almost seem contradictory: lies can hurt, yet lies are easy to come up with . . . and sometimes easy to believe. I’m amazed by what people will accept as truth, but I’m even more amazed by how easily people distort the truth to protect themselves, to tear somebody else down, or to build themselves up. It’s as if we’re all just a few words away from being liars.
Today’s Old Testament reading is filled with the lies of Sanballat, who tried to stop the building of the wall by spreading rumors about Nehemiah and the Jews, and of Shemaiah, who tried to intimidate Nehemiah so he would “do as he suggested, sin, and get a bad reputation” (Neh 6:13). Nehemiah, though, saw through their rumors and lies. To Sanballat he said, “There is nothing to these rumors you are spreading; you are inventing them in your own mind” (Neh 6:8). Of Shemaiah he spoke, “I realized that God had not sent him, because of the prophecy he spoke against me” (Neh 6:12). God gave Nehemiah great wisdom to discern truth and to continue the work of building the wall.
We need the same wisdom from God to discern truth when we face opposition. Moreover, we need to decide that we will never speak anything less than the truth. May God help us.
PRAYER: “Father, lead us away from the arrows of the father of lies, and grant us wisdom to know what’s happening when others spread rumors. We need Your daily help.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Nehemiah 8:1-9:37, Acts 13:42-14:7