“Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee. And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.” – Nehemiah 6:10-11.
The prophet Nehemiah devoted his life to serving The Lord through leading the Jews back from their 3rd exile and the rebuilding of the broken down walls of Jerusalem. The walls were literally and symbolically, the strength of God’s Holy City, protecting it from outside attack. nevertheless, there was dissension in the ranks as some of Nehemiah’s own people sought to stop him from his mission.
They used threats, rumors and other methods to stop Hews from the reconstruction project. In verse 10, they even resorted to false prophecy. The priest here told Nehemiah his life was in danger to try to get him to stop the building project (with a very pious suggestion of hiding in the House of God). And how do we know it was a “false message from God”? Because the “messenger” told Nehemiah to hide in the Most Holy Place of the temple, which was forbidden for Nehemiah, since he was not a priest. So “the prophecy” clearly did not line up with God’s Word.
Often, in life, and even in our mission to work for The Lord, we will encounter those who claim to have a “message from God” or to know “our destiny” or “have a word for you” about what your next step should be. Does it line up with scripture? Is it going to God’s greater glory? Does this prophet have a record of 100% accuracy? We need to be wary of all such messages and use discernment.
“And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. “Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.” – Nehemiah 6:12-13.
The more we step out of this world’s issues and do God’s work, the more we will be tested and tried. But like Nehemiah – stay on mission, on task and keep working. And keep our faith. When Nehemiah finished the construction of the defensive walls, the Jewish people were reinvigorated and Ezra led them in Biblical instruction. There was a true revival. The Lord was glorified. We can do the same as long as we stick to the task God has given us, no matter what others say, even if they claim to be a “messenger.” May we all stand firm and continue the work God has given us to do. And if you do not know your task, pray for Him to reveal it to you.