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Beware - not all people seek yur well-being

Rev. Tetteh-Annor Larbi | October 27, 2023 | Nehemiah 2:6-10

KEY VERSE: When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of it, they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the welfare of the children of Israel. Nehemiah 2:10


MESSAGE: When the God of heaven orchestrated the favourable circumstances for Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem and attend to the welfare of God's people and the city walls, it must have been a moment of awe and gratitude for witnessing God's providence. The news of Nehemiah's mission would undoubtedly bring joy to the Jews who had endured captivity and were now residing in Jerusalem, as they anticipated much-needed assistance. The entire land would be filled with a sense of joy and heightened expectations among the people. While one might expect universal joy at the prospect of alleviating the suffering of those living in deplorable conditions, it would be unwise to assume that everyone shares this sentiment and will celebrate such efforts. Luke 6:26a offers a cautionary note, "Woe to you when all men speak well of you," reminding us that not all individuals will necessarily appreciate or applaud positive actions.


Our key verse today highlights two individuals who, amidst the general excitement over Nehemiah's favour from the king to rebuild Jerusalem, were not only unhappy but deeply disturbed. Their discontent stemmed from the fact that the children of Israel were poised to receive help, bringing attention to their well-being. It suggests they might have been benefiting from the prevailing predicament.


Not all men will rejoice with you, some might go on to mourn and lament with you, when they may be partakers in orchestrating your predicament. Seek discernment and God's grace to rise above it.


FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE Are there some Samballats and Tobiahs in your life or ministry? Ask God for grace to be focused and live above them. Are you exhibiting the Samballat and Tobiah spirit in any way towards God’s people or God’s work? Ask God for mercy to reform and contribute to His Kingdom’s expansion.


PRAYER Dear Lord, forgive me if I have been a hindrance to your work in any way. Help me to rejoice genuinely with your work and your people. Help me to genuinely celebrate your goodness and favour in the lives of your children. In celebrating with those rejoicing, Lord may I also be celebrated. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen


THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS. SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!!

 

DAILY word study: DISTURBED

The Hebrew word for "disturbed" is "רָעַע" (ra'a). This term implies a sense of displeasure, discomfort, or emotional turmoil. The root word "רָעַע" often carries a negative connotation, suggesting a disturbance that brings about unease or distress.


In Scripture, the Hebrew term for disturbed is used to express different forms of emotions:

  • Psalm 55:2 (NIV): "...attend to me; hear me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan"In this context, the word is translated as "moan," indicating deep emotional distress or turmoil.

  • Isaiah 30:6 (NIV): "An oracle concerning the animals of the Negev: Through a land of hardship and distress, of lions and lionesses, of adders and darting snakes, the envoys carry their riches on donkeys’ backs, their treasures on the humps of camels..." Here, "distress" is used to describe a state of hardship and trouble.

  • Jeremiah 15:18 (NIV): "Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? You are to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails."In this instance, "fails" is a translation for the same Hebrew root, indicating a sense of disappointment and distress.


In the context of Nehemiah 2:10, the usage of the word "disturbed" provides a nuanced understanding of the emotional and social impact Nehemiah's arrival had

  1. Resistance to Positive Change: The use of "disturbed" implies that the arrival of Nehemiah and his intent to seek the well-being of the children of Israel was met with resistance. This prompts reflection on how positive initiatives can sometimes be met with opposition or discomfort.

  2. Conflict in God's Work: Nehemiah's mission was aligned with God's purposes, yet it stirred disturbance. This raises questions about the presence of conflict even when pursuing God's work.

Reflections: In what ways can Nehemiah's response to the disturbance inspire us to persevere in God's work despite encountering opposition or disturbance?



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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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