Watch Out For This Trap!

Nehemiah’s enemies tried to trap him in Chapter 6 of that book, using a ploy which seems to be a common type of temptation used by the enemy. Perhaps it has been used against you — or may be soon?

— First, his enemies sent a report intended to cause fear in Nehemiah: in this case the fear of the threats that “they are coming to kill you at night.” (:10)

— Then, having planted the fear, they suggest a way out of the difficulty, which involves a compromise of one of God’s commands: in this case, going into the temple and closing the doors, to keep him “safe” from the impending attack. (:10) The only problem with that idea was that Nehemiah was not a priest, and according to God’s Law he was not to go into the Temple like that. It would have been a major compromise of God’s word and his own integrity.

— But it turns out, the proposed “safe” measure was only a trap: “that I might become frightened and act accordingly and sin, so that they might have an evil report in order that they could reproach me.” (:13)

So basically it was a “setup.” They invented a problem, and proposed a solution which involved a compromise of God’s word — but if Nehemiah had done what they suggested, they would have accused him for it!

If this sounds familiar, this is just what Satan does to us all the time. He assaults us with various fears and possible harmful scenarios, and then suggests ways we can “get out of it” which are not according to God’s word. But if we “bite” at his suggestion, then he will in turn accuse us to God as lawbreakers, and torment our consciences as well! Just as in Nehemiah’s day, it is a trap!

Our response needs to be to see these temptations for what they are, and always respond according to scripture. Trying to “escape” some situation by compromising God’s word is just what the enemy wants you to do. Don’t succumb to it! May God give us the grace to see through the schemes of the enemy, and respond with integrity and a holy commitment to God’s word as Nehemiah did.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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