Beautiful words stir my heart. I will recite a lovely poem about the king, for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet.
“I’ve been obedient to God and try to do the best. But there are problems that hinder my path.”
The word above is familiar, doesn’t it? Although in a different form, that word certainly have crossed in our heart and mind or we hear it came out from others mouth. Or even our own lips say it.
When Hezekiah became king, He sanctified again the God’s house in Jerusalem. He commanded the Levites and the priests to consecrate themselves to offer a burnt offering to the Lord and praise the Lord as in the days of King David. Since that time they have not celebrated the Passover in general as it is written, then Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and even wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they all come to celebrate Passover in the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. Hezekiah sent the runner to deliver the edict to all Israel and Judah so that they humbled themselves and get back to worship the Lord. But what is faced by the messengers of truth? “So the runners passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun; but they laughed at them and mocked them.” (2 Chronicles 30:10)
Nehemiah, the cupbearer of the king Artaxerxes. God entrust a mission to him to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. By the God’s intervention, King Artaxerxes meet Nehemiah’s demand. The king was equipping Nehemiah with letters to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, to give Nehemiah timber that needed for the construction of the walls and gates of Jerusalem, as well as letters to the governors that the area to be traversed by Nehemiah, so they let him pass. And even, the king ordered warlords and horsemen accompanying the passage of Nehemiah. How remarkable God’s generosity, but after that the issue-by-issue confronting:
Four times Nehemiah wanted harmed by people who did not like what he did.
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, although at that time I had not set up the doors in the gates, 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; ……. Four times they sent me the same message…….. (Nehemiah 6:1-4)
Because they failed to deceive Nehemiah, they finally sent a letter containing slander that the purpose of Nehemiah building the wall is because Nehemiah was about to rebel the king Artaxerxes and made himself king in Judah. With the purpose to frighten Nehemiah, they say that the king Artaxerxes will soon hear the news. (Nehemiah 6:5-9) But Nehemiah was not fear.
Failed with all the cunning plan, they bribed a false prophet to trap Nehemiah through a prophecy that Nehemiah would be killed that night, and the only way to escape is Nehemiah had entered the temple and locked themselves in there.
Then I perceived that God had not sent him at all, but that he pronounced this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. For this reason he was hired, that I should be afraid and act that way and sin, so that they might have cause for an evil report, that they might reproach me. (Nehemiah 6:12-13)
Nehemiah knew the prophecy was false because he believed that God would not tell him breaking the Law of Moses, that the layman could not enter the temple. (Numbers 1:51; 18:7)
Since the beginning of the mission of Moses to free God’s people from slavery in Egypt and led them to the promised land, God has been accompanied by wonder signs and miracles But also facing very much the challenges. Starting from Pharaoh hardened his heart, the Egyptian army who pursue Israel to the Red Sea, until the war against the nations whose land traversed by Israel. Not only that. Moses still had to face a challenge from within, namely Israel itself. Almost in all circumstances Israel has always grouchy, angry, and blamed Moses (Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). Really takes patience, persistence and humility to lead Israel.
As I have written in the Journey of Life 1-3, all men are running in one direction: tomorrow. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow (The Life Journey 1: The Road Behind the bend). But those who walk with God are guaranteed the future because God is the God all of times. God knew the end of the world since the beginning of creation, when the earth was formless and empty. And even way of life of every human being is not hidden to Him. The Psalmist wrote: Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. (Psalm 139:16)
God not only knows the days that will happen, but He also has a special design for everyone. In His omniscience, God will guide those who are willing to greet him and give themselves to Him towards the fulfillment of His plan (The Life Journey 2: Have a Vision, and The Life Journey 3: The Price of the Choice).
Fulfilling God’s plan is not an instant thing but require lifelong process until we return to the Father’s house. Why? Because when we are done with one phase, God will bring us to the next phase in line with our spiritual growth and maturity to accept the greater trust and responsibility from God. Every obstacle and challenge that happening, used by God to form the heart and our character, so that we are ready to enter the next phase.
Therefore, it is important to always be obedient to all God’s guidance. If God choose a path, the path it must take us to the fulfillment of the plan. But God’s chosen path does not mean without obstacles such as the highway that free of obstacles. Why? For the devil does not like us to do the God’s will. The devil will use anything even anyone to obstruct and thwart us. But do not be terrified! In Deuteronomy 3:21-22, Moses told to Joshua that will continue his task to lead the Israelite into the Canaan:
I also commanded Joshua at the same time, “You have seen everything the Lord your God did to these two kings; he will do the same to all the kingdoms where you are going.
DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THEM, FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD WILL PERSONALLY FIGHT FOR YOU.”
(Deuteronomy 3:21-22 NET)
Moses knew that Joshua would face a lot of wars but Moses also knew that God must accompany and give victory to His people!
There’s no other way! We must continue to move forward and never give up as the runner of Hezekiah, Nehemiah, and Moses, and many other characters in the Bible. They were also face many obstacles and challenges, but they were not a person who easily give up. The runner of Hezekiah fixed their duties, Nehemiah still build the walls and the doors of the gates of Jerusalem until complete, and Moses faithful to God’s call until the end of his life.
Today or tomorrow, when we are walking in the God’s choice way but blocked by obstacles and challenges, do not fear and doubt to keep moving forward. Let us be the ones who courageous, diligent, faithful, and never give up.
Let’s go forward with God’s strength and help. Like God was with His servants in the Bible, God is with us. Although full of obstacles and challenges the end result is clear, namely the victory. Later, when our life’s journey ended, we can say as Jesus said to the Father:
I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. (John 17:4)
By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words
Photo by : Sella Irene