Nehemiah gathered all the people, divided the job into sections and began the work of building the wall. The task was immense. For that reason, until this time, the people had seen it as impossible. They needed a leader who could break it down into sections; therefore, God sent Nehemiah. With each group assigned a small section, the task now suddenly appears doable. It is that way with most of the work you face. Looking at the whole task, one tends to sit down in desperation; however, by breaking it into pieces, one gains new hope and invigoration to get the job done. But opposition presented itself quickly; beginning with mockery and demoralizing jabs. Whenever one marches forward to do God’s work in this world, opposition arises. Satan places many roadblocks to cross. How does one combat opposition from without and from within one’s own heart?
Those opposing the wall began with mockery. Sanballat began. “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they are doing? He scoffed. ‘do they think they can build the wall in a day if they offer enough sacrifices? And look at those charred stones they are pulling out of the rubbish and using again!’ Tobiah, who was standing beside him, remarked, ‘If even a fox walked along the top of their wall, it would collapse!” (Nehemiah 4:2-3, TLB). In other words, “you bunch of weak, incompetent fools. You think God really is going to help you? Besides that, look at all that ruble and garbage! Even if you build it, it will fall down again.”
COMBAT OPPOSITION WITH TRUTH
The enemy, as you may recall; weren’t worshippers of God, they were foreign diplomats who wanted power. Nehemiah had made this clear, when he replied to their first criticisms: “The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall. But you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.”
In other words, “unless you bow down before the throne of God to worship Him; you have no say here. This is God’s work and His work will be accomplished by Him through we, his servants.” In other words, “Get behind me Satan. I will not be deterred in doing God’s work. He will provide a way.”
Just as a side note to place this all-in perspective. Sanballat, was an opportunist. He, according to Josephus (a historian from the first century A.D.) was a governor over the area. Furthermore, he had convinced the high priest of Judah to go against Gods laws and marry his daughter. He did this to maintain a position of power. He believed that a divided and diverse Israel was a controllable Israel.1 Although, there are some discrepancies with Josephus’ work; he does add some perspective and credence to God’s own inspired word.
COMBAT OPPOSITION WITH PRAYER
Sometimes, it is not necessary to speak or to get into a confrontation with the opposition. During those times, prayer. Nehemiah knew this battle, “against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). And, Nehemiah who had the power to win this battle. Instead of responding to the attacker; this time, Nehemiah just prayed.
“Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders” (Nehemiah 4: 4-5).
This opposition had demeaned God and caused the people to question their faith and their zeal to perform the task God commanded to “build that wall.” Yes, we are to pray for the salvation of every soul; however, it is ok to ask God to justly punish evil as well.
We do not always have to come back with a statement. Certainly, we are not to respond with revenge. Sometimes, we need to remain silent and pray. God has a plan and we need to let Him be God, our provider and our protector against the enemy. Oh, but very important here. Don’t stop the work He commanded you do, while waiting for God to respond. Keep working. Most likely the opposition is going to get a lot worse; before, it gets better.
COMBAT OPPOSITION FROM WITHIN
Although, many times we may face opposition from without; sometimes, the opposition is within our own mind and heart. Particularly, following a victory. It is at least for me. Recently, I released two new books. In addition, I am taking classes on line from Liberty University; working toward a master’s in theology. Beyond that, I do work full time and continue to maintain and write for this website. Every time I am standing in praise to God (perhaps for His having met a financial need, a spiritual victory, an answered prayer or miraculously the money stretches to the next paycheck). Then, the voices come, Satan whispering, “You fool. God couldn’t possibly love you. What a weak, feeble foolish girl you are. Even, if you finished the book; no one will read it. With your history with money; why would God provide you a way? And school, forget that.”
My response: “Satan, get out of my way; you have no place here in my sanctuary.” Then, I fall before God’s throne of grace; knowing, He has a plan and can use this fragile clay pot for His Glory. He will provide a way through today and tomorrow. After that, I get up and continue to march forward.
Whatever opposition you face today; don’t forget to speak truth, pray, and keep marching forward. Do not cease the labor of your hands God commanded you to do.
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DO YOU KNOW CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOR?
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Savior: I urge you to go to my page titled How to Be Saved by clicking on this link. Because there is nothing more important than this, I urge you to seek Him today.
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Two Newest Books Available
A labor of love, this book provides you with 3 foundations of truth from the scripture which once known will provide you with abiding, steadfast joy. Undaunted by the storms of life; your joy will overflow.
WHEN INJUSTICE AND VIOLENCE REIGN:
Through a study of Nahum, Habukkuk, and Zephaniah; I brought their message into our modern times. Answering the questions of “Why, God?”
Providing a foundation of faith and hope; even, as we see so much evil in the world and in our nation. With so much sorrow and despair, this book I wrote to guide you into discovering God’s Perfect Plan of love; amid this chaotic world filled with life’s storms.
You may click on the picture for more information on either of these books.
OTHER RESOURCES AVAILABLE
If you want to know more about other books I have written: You can read more about each one at: Book Resources.
©Effie Darlene Barba, 2017
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned except for my own books. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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