I am always delighted when our old friend Nehemiah shows up in our Bible Lesson.
This week's topic has rather a long title: Ancient and Modern Necromancy, Alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced. This was a hot topic during Mrs. Eddy's time and it is very applicable to the challenges we face today with world wide media and instant access - whether you want it or not - to horrific events. Basically, it is how not to be fooled. Two examples are given, Nehemiah's experience and Jesus encounter with the insane man in the tombs.
Nehemiah has gotten permission from the King to return to Jerusalem, which is lying in ruins. He sees the importance of rebuilding the walls as a defense from the surrounding peoples who want her left defenseless. It is heart breaking to read about the many peoples around the world who are faced with a similar situation today with their cities left in ruins by war.
Before taking any action Nehemiah prayers and waits for divine guidance. In each instance he knows just what he needs to do or say.
When he first arrives he doesn't tell anyone what he is doing there. This is a wise course of action as there will be instant resistance, even from some who he wants to help, and especially from those who want his project to fail. This is sound practice for us to follow as we choose to take the higher path during challengse and decide to handle it with prayer.
His enemies try everything they can think of to discourage him and turn the people against him. They plan an attack against the work. They try to distract Nehemiah and get him to stop working. They spread malicious rumors. None of it works and the building project is finished in an incredible 52 days. Almost as incredible as getting all those citizens to willing do the hard work.
There is much to study and appreciate in Nehemiah's story and much of practical use for our own challenges. Is there a 'wall' in your experience that needs rebuilding? A 'wall' that is malfunctioning within your body? A 'wall' that seems to be blocking your progress?
Some walls need to come tumbling down. Some walls need to be rebuilt. Whatever the situation appears to be, take a Nehemiah approach and pray first. Turn to God, trusting in His goodness, His willingness to comfort, guard and guide you.
hymn 105 - first verse:
Help to help each other, Lord,
Each other's cross to bear;
Let each his friendly aid afford,
And feel his brother's care.