Summary: You can't control what people do to you or what they say about you...but God can.
6 In it was written, “It is reported among the nations, and Geshem also says it, that you and the Jews intend to rebel; that is why you are building the wall. And according to these reports you wish to become their king. 7 And you have also set up prophets to proclaim concerning you in Jerusalem, ‘There is a king in Judah.’ And now the king will hear of these reports. So now come and let us take counsel together.” 8 Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind.” 9 For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands. 10 Now when I went into the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home, he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple. Let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you. They are coming to kill you by night.” 11 But I said, “Should such a man as I run away? And what man such as I could go into the temple and live? I will not go in.” 12 And I understood and saw that God had not sent him, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 For this purpose he was hired, that I should be afraid and act in this way and sin, and so they could give me a bad name in order to taunt me. 14 Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, according to these things that they did, and also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who wanted to make me afraid. 15 So the wall of Jerusalem was completed on the 25th day of the month of Elul.[a] It had taken 52 days to finish building the wall. 16 Then all our enemies heard that we had completed the wall, and all the nations around us saw that it was finished. So they lost their courage, because they understood that this work had been done with the help of our God.
What do you do when you’re unfairly accused? False accusations happen to most of us at some point in our lives. And most of the time, you may not have the power to correct the lies because most accusers like to hide behind the eight ball. The natural impulse is to get angry and push back. But sometimes that natural response can have serious consequences, especially if the accuser is someone in power over you. Sometimes people just assume that you’re up to no good and then jump to conclusions about you.
In Matthew 5: 11 Jesus said, bless are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me” and the phrase, “all kinds of evil” tell us that the followers of Jesus will endure insults, lies, ridicule, and false accusations, and those attacks will come in many different ways. In fact, those attacks will sometimes come from people you would have least expected. People who have allowed Satan to make them become false witnesses most of the time because they received their accusations about you through a second hand form of information better known as gossip, scandal, and rumor.
Some of these attacks will question your faith, your character, your commitment, and your integrity. Sometimes your motives will be questioned, and sometimes your words will be twisted and they will misquote you to give an added effect in order to make the rumor a little more juicer. You will become victimized by a whispering or a smear campaign which is usually done to discredit before others. The most unfortunate thing about all this is that most of the time you will not be able to pin down who, what, where, and why they said these things against. And if you dare question the gossiper about it he just may turn it around on you in order to make you feel that it is something wrong with you. Sadly, these things do happen from time to time and it is part and parcel of being a follower of Jesus Christ.
The story is told of a man who was driving home late one night when he picked up a hitchhiker. As they rode along, he began to be suspicious of his passenger. The man checked to see if his wallet was safe in the pocket of his coat that was on the seat between them, but it wasn't there! So he slammed on the brakes, and ordered the hitchhiker to get out, and said, "Hand over the wallet right now!" and he even said a few other choice words. The frightened hitchhiker handed over a billfold, and the man drove off still mad as a hornet. When he arrived home he started to tell his wife about what happened on the way home, but she interrupted him, and said, "Before you tell me your story, do you know that you left your wallet at home this morning?" The same thing happened to Nehemiah here in the text this morning. But before we get into the text let me give you some background.