He lost his vision because he was stuck inside his own house. He invited Nehemiah to go to the Temple because his nature was deceitful, not because he wanted to sacrifice…
To hide, yes, to hide. Shemaiah was a man, an alleged priest; however, he does not necessarily need to be a person. So who is this spiritual Shemaiah? He is my and your “will”. And what does our “will” do? It is constantly trying to hide, because it represents our weaknesses, our fears, the fear of making a mistake, of being reprehended, of failing, of not having enough strength, of being compared to others, etc. This is why the tendency of our “will” is to hide, run away, not face danger, like Nehemiah said:
“Should such a man as I flee? And who is there such as I who would go into the Temple to save his life? I will not go in!” Nehemiah 6.11
What did the Lord Jesus say?
Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. Luke 10.3
In other words, our life is put at risk every day. We are sent to our deaths every day, which is a reality that our “will” obviously does not want to face. “Do not go to Jerusalem, they will Kill you…” Peter said to the Lord Jesus Christ, inspired by Satan.
Well, this is our “will”, the Shemaiah that exists within us, whose tendency is to hide and run away whenever there is danger. This is why the Lord Jesus rebuked Satan and not Peter, who was using his “will” at the time.
THIS IS SHEMAIAH, OUR “WILL”, which tries to hide behind a title, a false pious and godly appearance, and even the Work of God (Shemaiah invited Nehemiah to hide in the Temple). So, our “will” often tries to hide behind the things that have been presumably appointed to us. Don’t forget that Shemaiah was a prophet who, eventually, turned away from what he had been appointed.
Therefore, pay attention because at any moment your Shemaiah will try to make you hide from the challenges, difficulties and oppositions. In fact, he will try to make you fear for your life and think about the future. This was precisely what Shemaiah was trying to do when he invited Nehemiah to hide in the Temple. He wanted Nehemiah to think about himself, his future and keeping himself alive as long as possible. And this is what our “will” tries to do: divert our vision from the Work and the Word of God, which is “dying” (figuratively) every day for us and for the world, to live for the Lord Jesus!
So don’t look for Shemaiah externally, look to your “will”, because that’s where he is … and hides!
It was no accident that the Lord Jesus said:
If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Matthew 16.24