The story of Nehemiah is one of my favorite books of the Bible. Nehemiah was a man of many talents. He was: cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, governor of Judah, a man of prayer, and a construction supervisor. Nehemiah left the king’s palace to help rebuild the wall around Jerusalem.
What makes this story a writer’s dream is that so many villains oppose Nehemiah’s project. A project orchestrated by God.
In Nehemiah’s day, Jerusalem’s wall was broken down and her gates had been burned with fire (Neh. 1:4). Defenseless lay the City of David. The governors of the area around Judah did not want Jerusalem rebuilt. Who desires a fortress in their backyard? Certainly not notable adversaries Sanballat and Tobiah who try to hold on to their power by threatening Nehemiah and the Jews who began to restore Jerusalem’s wall. What surprised me most when I researched the story of Nehemiah was that a prophetess threw her influence behind the enemies of God’s servant.
In Nehemiah 6:14, Nehemiah asks God to remember his foes. Nehemiah mentions the prophetess Noadiah for her attempts at intimidation. Since Noadiah is acting against God, I think it is safe to say she is a false prophetess.
Why hadn’t I heard of Noadiah before? Why doesn’t her name appear in Sunday School lessons along with Sanballat and Tobiah? In my novel, I shed light on this woman who tries to thwart God’s plan, and his planner, Nehemiah.
For fun, can you name some of the women prophets in the Bible?
(Miriam, Exodus 15:20, Huldah, II Kings 22:14, Isaiah’s wife, Isaiah 8:3, Noadiah, Nehemiah 6:14, Deborah, Judges 4:4, Anna, Luke 2: 36-37, and the four daughters of Philip, Acts 21:9)
When Adah bat Shallum finds the governor of Judah weeping over the crumbling wall of Jerusalem, she learns the reason for Nehemiah’s unexpected visit—God has called him to rebuild the wall around the City of David.
Adah bravely vows to rebuild her city’s wall, though she soon discovers that Jerusalem not only has enemies outside of the city, but also within. Can Adah, her sister, and the men they love, honor God’s call? Or will their mission be crushed by the same rocks they hope to raise?
Barbara M. Britton was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area but currently lives in Southeast Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. Barb writes romantic adventures for teens and adults in the Christian fiction and Mainstream markets. She is published in Biblical fiction and enjoys bringing little-known Bible characters to light in her Tribes of Israel series. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. You can find out more about Barb’s books on her website, www.barbarambritton.com.