Posted on November 15, 2016 by Curt Snyder
Have you ever found yourself completing a project you were involved in, feeling pretty good about yourself, only to have someone else criticize or condemn your work? If so, you probably can identify with Nehemiah. He had been given a burden by God to rebuild the destroyed walls of Jerusalem. He had assessed the situation, rallied a divided people and in just fifty-two days accomplished a feat that should have taken several years to complete. I’m fairly sure he was feeling pretty good about what had just happened.
10 One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home. He said, “Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you—by night they are coming to kill you.” 11 But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” 12 I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.
14 Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophet Noadiah and how she and the rest of the prophets have been trying to intimidate me. 15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.
There will be times in your life when God will be asking you to take a bold step of faith, to do something that is far outside your normal routine. With every one of those bold steps there will be those who hold a differing opinion or viewpoint. There may be those who will tell you that you cannot accomplish it or even stand in stark opposition to what you are doing. Sometimes they are even those who should be most for you, just like the people of Judah who would have benefited most from the completion of the wall.
17 Also, in those days the nobles of Judah were sending many letters to Tobiah, and replies from Tobiah kept coming to them.18 For many in Judah were under oath to him, since he was son-in-law to Shekaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah. 19 Moreover, they kept reporting to me his good deeds and then telling him what I said. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.
The reality is there is an enemy out there, an enemy of God and of all those who follow Him, who does not want you to succeed or even attempt to take that step of faith. And he will do everything and use every trick to keep you from doing so.
Nehemiah could have thrown up his hands and said, “What’s the use? Even the people who live here don’t want this to happen.” But he knew what God had spoken to him and he was convinced and determined that he would see it through.
So let’s back up and see in verse 16 how the enemies of Nehemiah responded to the completion of the wall.
16 When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.
God is for you! There is nothing that he speaks into your heart that He cannot and will not see through to completion if you will simply obey. He may not be asking you to physically rebuild a city, but maybe He is asking you to repair a broken relationship, or to reconnect with a neighbor. Maybe He is asking you to serve at your local school or to become a foster family. Maybe He is even asking you to become a missionary, to plant a church or to become a pastor. Regardless of what God is asking of you He can give you the strength to accomplish it; and when those who would oppose you attempt to do so, He will help you so that just like Nehemiah’s enemies: “When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God”