Wednesday, 2 September 2020
Question of the day: How did Nehemiah answer the questions that were asked of him at the end of chapter 2, by Sanballat and Tobiah? Jeremiah 2:19b "What is this you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?"
Answer: Nehemiah knew something about authority. There are spheres of authority (as explained in Asher Intrater's book "All Authority.") So, Nehemiah answers with understanding. He could have said, by authority of the king (who had sent him with letters and with an army to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem), but instead, Nehemiah chose a higher authority.
Nehemiah 2:20 "I responded to them saying, 'The God of heaven will bring us success. We His servants will arise and build. But you have no part, right, or historical claim in Jerusalem.'"
This relationship with Sanballat, Tobiah, and occasionally Geshem takes a number of twists and turns. These enemies of the Jewish people offer to help, but that offer is wisely refused. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Today, we are only dealing with Jeremiah being submitted to God's authority which give him the right to call on that authority. The same is true for us.
The Bible makes this point. The flesh cannot submit to God. Romans 8:7-9a "For the mindset of the flesh is hostile toward God, for it does not submit itself to the law of God--for it cannot. So those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Ruach--if indeed the Ruach Elohim dwells in you."
The point is this ... we submit to God (by doing His will) and He will fight against our enemies for us. That is Tachlis (Hebrew for "the bottom line").
Rabbi Michael Weiner,