Putting God's Word into Practice…

Notes from Nehemiah (Chapter 4:1-9)

on November 26, 2014

Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he jeered at the Jews.  And he said in the presence of his brothers and of the army of Samaria, “What are these FEEBLE Jews doing? Will they RESTORE it for themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish up in a day? Will they REVIVE the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, and burned ones at that? Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Yes, what they are building–if a fox goes up on it he will break down their stone wall!”  Opposition multiplies and intensifies.  What starts with one man’s rage spreads to others.  Sanballat and Tobiah first attack the workers, then they attack the work.  They will do anything to discourage and strike fear into the laborers.  They see the work through eyes of flesh not spiritual eyes.  It’s true that the workers are feeble–aren’t we all!  It’s true that restoration and revival are impossible at the hands of man.  BUT GOD!!!  God is the one who fights for us.  He is the One who gives strength in our weakness.  He alone is capable of restoration and revival.  He breathes life into the work.  Taking our eyes off of Him, listening to and believing the opposition, looking around at the overwhelming piles of rubble and the scope of the work will discourage us and lead us to fear.

How did the Jewish people handle the opposition? “Hear, O our God, for we are despised.”  They took it to the Lord immediately.  They gave Him authority over their enemies.  “So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for THE PEOPLE HAD A MIND TO WORK.”  They stayed faithful to the task.  One stone at a time.  Just keep building!

As the work progressed on the wall, the enemies became angrier.  They added more numbers to their forces.  They moved from taunting to plotting an attack.  And again we see the Jewish people handling it rightly.  “And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.”  Pray first then work.

At our house we have two of the most beautiful maple trees in town gracing the entrance to our driveway.  They are vibrant and beautiful each fall, until the winds and cold knock down their leaves.  Then we have an overwhelming job ahead of us–raking and bagging them all. It’s easy to look out the window and think, “I can’t do it again.”  Neighbors may jokingly say things that actually make the work seem more burdensome. But if we just set our minds to work, its amazing how one bag becomes 40 bags and soon we have a nice little wall of leaf bags lining the street in front of our house! And at the end of the day, I thank the Lord for giving us His strength, endurance, and help.

Every good work will come with opposition and difficulties, but our Good God is bigger and stronger and wiser.  We need to go to Him often and first; we need to fix our eyes on His power and ability; we need to be faithful to the work!


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