«An evildoer gives heed to false lips; a liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue» (Proverbs 17:4).
Nehemiah had fulfilled one of his greatest dreams. He’d obtained the Persian king’s support to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. The journey was long and wearisome. Finally, the long caravan spotted what had once been the City of David, now in ruins. Nehemiah immediately established work strategies and went through the city. However, Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem made fun of his project and tried to discourage him. But the brave leader remained steadfast in his purpose, despite all kinds of bitter comments against him.
In order to intimidate him, his opponents tried to make him fall into a game of intrigues. They asked him to straighten out some supposed rumors that were going around. However, Nehemiah refused to meet with them time and again. Then, they sent him the following message, «It is reported among the nations, and Geshem says, that you and the Jews plan to rebel; therefore, according to these rumors, you are rebuilding the wall, that you may be their king. And you have also appointed prophets to proclaim concerning you at Jerusalem, saying, ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now these matters will be reported to the king. So come, therefore, and let us consult together» (Nehemiah 6:5-7). It was all a lie. They were false scenarios to tangle him in their rivals’ schemes. Nehemiah’s reply is an example to follow when confronting the schemes of those who rise up against us, «No such things as you say are being done, but you invent them in your own head’ (Nehemiah 6:8).
God’s servant didn’t waste any time clarifying the lies or false scenarios. Nor did he let them affect his work or life projects. Nehemiah proceeded with the building of Jerusalem’s wall. Intrigue didn’t stop him, but he «would not allow them to intimidate him into following a cowardly course»—Sons and Daughters of God, p. 213.
Have you ever been a victim of intrigue? Have you fallen into the game of lies and false scenarios? Has it affected you emotionally? Have you made relevant decisions based on rumors, gossip or complaints against you? I think Nehemiah’s method is much better in every sense. When faced with intrigue, it’s better to say, «No such things as you say are being done, but you invent them in your own heart.» Don’t give any more explanations or waste your time. The way we face intrigue reveals the kind of people we are.
Ask the Lord today to help you carry out your life projects without letting yourself become entangled by useless intrigue.