April 28, 2020: Reason to Rejoice: God often tells us very plainly what we should do!

Nehemiah 6:1-2 (NIV) 

 1 When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it–though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates– 2 Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.” But they were scheming to harm me; 

Nehemiah had been having trouble with these guys for several days. Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem were all seeking to derail Nehemiah and the Jews from their task of getting the walls built around Jerusalem. They tried everything they could think of to thwart them, but nothing worked.

Finally, exhausted, they attempted one last time to hinder their work by seeking to get them to meet them at a place so they could talk. No threats of violence, no violent outbursts. They even seemed to be willing to make peace.

Nehemiah was now faced with a decision. He did not want to look unneighborly, but he still wanted to make sure his decisions honored God. What should he do? How often have you found yourself at the same crossroads? You think you know what to do, but you just are not sure.

Consider the prayer time of Nehemiah the next few moments after he received the invitation to meet them at a specific place. Here is how I think it might have gone.

“Hey, God, this is Nehemiah. You know the one you asked to build the wall around your city.”

“Yes.”

“God, I really do not mind all the piles of rubble we have had to clean up and all the refuse that we had to cart out of the city, but I have this one little problem.”

“Yes.”

“You know those three Arabs that have been giving me trouble all this time?”

“Yes.”

“They want me to meet them for a meeting to talk with them. I think they might be ready to end their opposition. I wanted to check it out with you first, though.”

“I am glad you did, Nehemiah. You want to know if you should meet them at this certain place?”

“Yes1”

“Can you tell me the name of the place?”

“Let’s see, they wrote it on this message they gave me. Let’s see. Oh, here it is. They said they wanted to meet me at the place called “Ono.”

“Yes? Can you tell me the name of the place once more, Nehemiah?”

“Ono!”

“Ok, so let me ask you this one question, and you give me the one-word answer I am looking for, ok?”

“Sure, God.”

“You want to know what my answer is to your question about meeting up with these three men?”

“Yes.”

“My answer is the . . . There is a long pause, then God continues, “What is the name of the place where they want you to meet them?”

“Ono!” Nehemiah replies.

God has only one more question for Nehemiah. “Did you hear my answer?”

Now, this bit of humor does not work out in the Hebrew language of the Old Testament, but I thought you could use a little of the pastor’s humor today.

The Bible does tell us that a merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Now you have your daily dose of this pastor’s humor, and it did not cost you anything. You are welcome.

Now go out and have a praise party for Jesus.

I have attached a worship song entitled The Blessing for your pleasure.

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