READ Nehemiah 6:10-14
Nehemiah, fresh from his victory over Sanballat’s attempt on his life, now meets a foe dressed up as a friend. One day on a house visit to a supposedly godly man named Shemaiah, the enemy rears his head again. Shemaiah suggests the two of them go and hide in the temple to keep themselves safe from an imminent attack from the enemy. Sounds like the advice of a friend doesn’t it? But there is a problem with the advice. Though it seems good, it contradicts what God has already written in his law. The law makes it clear that only Levites can enter the temple like this. If Nehemiah took this advice, he would be going against God.
This is a master class on how to make good decisions. It is important to be a person who will hear the advice of others; God’s word says there is safety in a multitude of advisers, but while doing so, we must remind ourselves that human advice is… well human. It is open to error or ulterior motive. So the best way to treat advice is to line it up with God’s word. God’s word should ALWAYS have the final say when it comes to our choices.
Nehemiah could have used all sorts of excuses to take this advice; “Surely it is a God-thing that this information came to me when it did.” “I trust this person.” “My circumstances tell me I should follow this advice.” But no matter how he would try to justify it, he would still have been wrong.
You see the problem with advice is we only tend to listen to it when it supports what we want to do anyway. We can twist anything and make it sound like it is God, but that doesn’t make the path right. The only true test is to line it up with scripture and allow scripture to win.
It is dangerous to sin, but worse still to fool ourselves into thinking that God has sanctioned it. God NEVER EVER contradicts his word. So you want to know what God wants you to do? Look in his word.
Lord may your word dictate my steps. Amen.