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June 15 – What if God’s servant lies? 

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” – 1 John 4:1 

Scripture reading: Nehemiah 6:10-14, Psalm 31

If the only thing Nehemiah fears is the Lord, then why not pay a prophet to lead Nehemiah astray? This was the new strategy to bring Nehemiah to ruin. If he would go into the temple, he would sin against God, he would lose the support of the people, and he would no longer be able to lead. And what a good strategy. Nehemiah did not know Shemaiah was paid to mislead him. These verses remind us to know the law of God and to test all other words against it. On the surface the advice seems good and wise. One might say that it is better to go into the temple than to die. But Nehemiah knew that what Shemaiah told him was against God’s Word.

I have heard ministers and elders give terrible advice. Essentially, they told certain young people that holiness does not matter, and that they may sin that grace may abound. Bible teachers in schools and colleges have advised their students to ignore the Word of God and go by what the world says instead. This advice, if followed, would lead people to eternal condemnation in hell. This is serious stuff. This is why Nehemiah prays, placing his opponents and the false prophets into the hands of God. Again, we are reminded to look to the Lord and lean on the Lord, trusting our troubles to Him. The refuge we need is in the Lord.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord for the goodness of His Word. Pray for preachers and teachers of God’s Word, that they will never compromise in their calling. Pray for wisdom and discernment to tell the difference between true and false prophets.

Rev. Simon Lievaart currently serves Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. Prior to this, he served the United Reformed Church in Doon, IA. Rev. Lievaart grew up in southern Alberta, attended Redeemer University College and Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at

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