Nehemiah 6:10-14

Talks for Growing Christians

Perceiving Deception

Nehemiah 6:10-14

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Lesson Number 19

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. A thorough working knowledge of God’s Word is necessary for spiritual warfare.
  2. The world will find fault with a disobedient Christian.

Practical Application

  1. Watch out for “The-Lord-told-me-so” friends.
  2. Watch out for the enemy in the most unlikely places.


  1. List some of the tactics Satan used against Nehemiah.
  2. Were these tactics successful in stopping “Operation Wall?” Why or why not?
  3. Who was Shemaiah? What did Sanballat and Tobiah hire him to do?
  4. What was Nehemiah’s perception of Shemaiah? How could Nehemiah distinguish a false prophet from a true prophet? (Compare verse 12 with Numbers 18:7)
  5. What does Nehemiah’s discernment show about him?
  6. What is a believer’s primary defense against spiritual deception?


  1. Scorn, ridicule, threat, conspiracy, internal strife, and slander.
  2. They were not successful because Nehemiah kept his eyes on the Lord, and he had his priorities in order. His example gave confidence to the people to trust in God.
  3. He was a false prophet, hired to inform Nehemiah that there was a threat on his life.
  4. He perceived that Shemaiah was a false prophet. God’s Word forbade those who were not priests from entering the sanctuary, and Nehemiah was not a priest. A true prophet of God would never suggest something that is contrary to the Word of God – not in Nehemiah’s day and not in our day!
  5. Nehemiah knew the book of Numbers, one of the books of the Law. Even though he was not a priest, Nehemiah had a good working knowledge of the Word of God!
  6. A thorough knowledge of God’s Word, and close communication with Him.


  1. Have you had the experience of being advised wrongly, even by close friends and devout Christians? If so, what does this tell you?
  2. Read Hebrews 5:11-14. What are the implications of this passage?


  1. Resolve to study God’s Word daily in order to grow in spiritual discernment. Be sure that your behavior matches your beliefs.

Key Verses

  • “Wisdom from above is first of all pure.” James 3:17

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