February 10
Consider the consequences
For reading & meditation: Nehemiah 6:9-13
"But I said, 'Should a man like me run away? ' I will not go!'" v.11)

We continue meditating on the fact that the psalmist, though filled with doubts about the goodness of God, nevertheless refrained from expressing those doubts to others. He carefully considered what effect his action might have on the family of God. Nothing that we do in life is without consequences. Someone has put it like this: "Every effect has a cause and every cause produces an effect." Many of our difficulties in life arise from the fact that we forget the principle that consequences follow our actions. The devil often inveigles us into thinking that the situation we are in is an isolated event, and he gets us to believe that what we do, or are about to do or say, will have little or no effect upon others. He is exceedingly skilful at getting us to become preoccupied with the thing he puts before us. This one thing on which we focus then takes up our whole attention and we become oblivious of everything else, including the results that may follow our actions. Troubled though the psalmist was, in his heart he considered the consequences of his actions. And this is what Nehemiah did in the passage before us today. A false "friend" came to him and told him that he should not risk his life. The proposition undoubtedly appealed to him, but Nehemiah considered the consequences and stayed where he was. If he hadn't, the whole course of Israel's history would have been changed. Believe me, this one principle alone - of carefully considering consequences - would be the means of saving us from endless difficulties if we were to take it and consistently apply it.
Father, how grateful I am that Your inspired Word teaches me the when next I am tempted. May I obey Your Word and not just hear it. In Christ's Name I pray. Amen.
For further study:
1. What is the principle of sowing and reaping?
2. What are words like?