An Open Letter
in which they said that they had heard he was going to set up a
kingdom in opposition to the Persians, and that they were going to
report him to the king. Treason has an ugly sound, but Nehemiah
committed himself to the Lord, and went on building.
Then his enemies hired a prophet, one of his friends. A hundred
enemies outside are not half so hard to deal with as one inside--a
false friend. When the devil
ets possession of a child of God he
will do the work better than the devil himself. Temptations are
never so dangerous as when they come to us in a religious garb. So
Tobiah and Sanballat bought up one of the prophets, and hired him to
try to induce Nehemiah to go into the temple, that they might put
him to death there.
"Now, Nehemiah, there is a plan to kill you, come into the temple.
Let's go in and stay for the night."
He came near being deceived, but he said, "Shall I, such a man as I,
be afraid of my life, and do that to save my life?"
After he had refused their invitation he saw that this man was a
false prophet; and so by his standing his ground he succeeded in
fifty-two days in building the walls of Jerusalem. Then the gates
were set up and the work was finished.
Now during all these centuries that story has been told. If Nehemiah
had remained at court, he might have died a millionaire, but he
never would have been heard of twenty years after his death. Do you
know the names of any of Nineveh's millionaires? This man stepped
out of that high position and took a low position, one that the
world looked down upon and frowned upon, and his name has been
associated with the walls of Jerusalem all these centuries. Young
man, if you want to be immortal, become identified with God's work,
and pay no attention to what men outside say. Nehemiah and his
associates began at sunrise and worked until it grew so dark they
could not see. A man who will take up God's work, and work summer
and winter right through the year, will have a harvest before the
year is over, and the record of it will shine after he enters the
The next thing we learn of Nehemiah is that he got up a great