Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand; Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words. And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together. Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart. For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands. – Nehemiah 6:5-9

68a9f317bd4d602e47832ef7409a5099After several attempts to pull Nehemiah away from the work with distracting offers, Sanballat sends a letter to Nehemiah that is full of lies and rumors. His hope is to, once again, distract Nehemiah from his work to spend time dealing with these false allegations. The rumors, no doubt, are hurtful. They accuse Nehemiah of doing things against the king and for his own glory. If Sanballat is able to convince the Israelites that Nehemiah simply has plans for personal power and glory, then they will become discouraged and stop working.  You may notice that many times when someone falsely accuses another, the accuser is guilty of the very same thing!

Rather than getting bogged down in the allegations, Nehemiah flat out refutes them and continues living a life showing the rumors were all lies. He recognizes that this is Sanballat’s attempt to discourage him and slow down the work.  Therefore, he, once again, prays to God, and then gets back to work!

People are going to make up stories and tell rumors. There is nothing you can do to stop them and it is a wasted effort to try and fix everything they mess up. When you try to live a righteous life, you may especially become a target of ridicule. The best thing to do is to live above all reproach. Let your life be a shining example so that when rumors pop up, no one will believe them.

Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. – 1st Peter 3:16

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