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Nehemiah 4:1–6 ‘When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed.’ (v1)

We re-join the story as Nehemiah begins to rebuild the wall. He had to assess the situation and envision the people to do the work. But he encounters opposition. Earlier in the book Nehemiah has described how Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite and Geshem the Arab had initially opposed the rebuilding work. ‘They mocked and ridiculed us’ (2:19).

Nehemiah had confidently declared that the God of heaven will give them success. At this time there were a mixture of nations in Jerusalem. Following the exile, only a remnant of Jews remained, and so many outside of the people of God had developed their own agendas for the city. There is further ridicule in chapter 4. Sanballat questions whether the people were up to the task and questions the idea of rebuilding the wall at all.

So much of Christian activity that we are engaged in looks foolish to those around us, perhaps especially those outside the Church, but sometimes even those within it. Some also will respond with anger to what we’re trying to do, perhaps because our activity challenges their own selfishness and mean-spiritedness. If you receive opposition to your work for God, use it as opportunities to pray, to re-evaluate whether you are really on the right track and, if you are, to continue your work confident that the God who has called you to it will be at work with you in it.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Thank You, Lord, for the joy of being involved in Your eternal work. I look forward to seeing all that You will do in and through me. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Start talking positively about all the good things God can do in and with you as you serve Him.

Scripture To Consider:
Gen. 6:11–22; Hag. 1:7–15; 1 Pet. 3:9–22; 2 Tim. 3:10–17

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.