The Book of Nehemiah begins and ends with faith. Faith, no matter its size, can remove mountains and it can restore broken walls. Take this Journey to learn how to restore your city through prayer and God’s Word.
1When Sanballat, the governor of Samaria, heard that we were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, he became angry and started insulting our people. 2In front of his friends and the Samaritan army he said, "What is this feeble bunch of Jews trying to do? Are they going to rebuild the wall and offer sacrifices all in one day? Do they think they can make something out of this pile of scorched stones?" 3Tobiah from Ammon was standing beside Sanballat and said, "Look at the wall they are building! Why, even a fox could knock over this pile of stones."
4But I prayed, "Our God, these people hate us and have wished horrible things for us. Please answer our prayers and make their insults fall on them! Let them be the ones to be dragged away as prisoners of war. 5Don't forgive the mean and evil way they have insulted the builders." Read More
Don’t think that your enemies are going to stand back and watch you progress. Whenever you do anything to further God’s kingdom, the devil will be waiting for an opportunity to attack you at the point at which you are most vulnerable. Building a wall for the city of Jerusalem was a formidable task. Nehemiah knew it, the people knew it, and his enemies knew it. As the workers laid stone upon stone, their enemies hurled insults at them. The adage that says, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me,” is simply not true. Words hurt. They hurt the shepherd boy David when he heard the giant Goliath taunting God’s people. Those words made him spring into action (1 Samuel 17:26-32). Now Sanballat and others used words to hurt Nehemiah and the building crew. It hurt enough to compel Nehemiah to take time out to pray… a curse on them! He didn’t retaliate, he didn’t render evil for evil, he used the arsenal he had—prayer!
Sanballat and company were threatened by any successes the people achieved. In today’s language, such people are called “haters.” Are you aware of “haters” in your community? What can you do to deflect their influence? How can you pray for them?
Make a concerted effort to focus on the tasks you have at hand and ask God to let you not become distracted by those who are against the work you do for God’s kingdom.
Lord, guard my lips that I will not become embroiled in petty arguments even though my feelings may be hurt. Keep me steadfast in the work you have called me to do.
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