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by Dalton Key
for the week of June11, 2017
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”  (Galatians 6:9.)

            Beginning a good work is one thing; finishing, something altogether different and more difficult.  The temptation to quit, to give up, appears so very enticing when the critics carp and the work becomes tedious.  And Satan, as “a roaring lion . . . seeking whom he may devour,” understands this and uses such human frailties to his advantage.  He knows the quickest, surest way to stop a good work is by discouraging the workers.  He tempts us to accentuate the negative and eliminate the positive.  We know he’s lying, but still we listen.  We become weary in well doing.

            How unlike Nehemiah we are!

            Nehemiah hadn’t labored long in rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem before his enemies heard of it and started trying to halt the work.  First, they ridiculed the effort, suggesting the wall would fall under the weight of a fox.  The workers and the work continued.  The enemies then “conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it,” but still the work went forward with the workmen holding a tool in one hand and a weapon in the other.  Two of Nehemiah’s foes, Sanballat and Gershem, then tempted him to take a rest from the work and come down to the plain of Ono to talk things over.  But the invitation was refused and the wall continued toward completion.  Finally, ugly rumors were widely circulated in one last-ditch effort to discredit the work and the motive behind it.  But the work continued, and the wall was finished in just fifty-two days.          

            What caused Nehemiah’s success?  Two things.  First, “They perceived that the work was wrought of . . . God.”  (Nehemiah 6:16.)  And second, “The people had a mind to work.”  (Nehemiah 4:6.)  Because the work was perceived as greater than the workers, because it was properly understood as God’s work, the workers could neither be discouraged nor dissuaded.  Their eyes were not focused upon themselves, or their problems, but upon their God and His cause.  They lost themselves in their labors.

            Satan met a brick wall when he came up against Nehemiah.

            What does he meet when he advances toward us and the good works we attempt to perform?