Nehemiah 4 – HANDLING OPPOSITION
A man is running for the office of mayor in a town, and it looks like another man will run against him for the same office. That’s opposition!
A union is working in the interest of some mistreated workers, and looks like all will go well until the company involved balks at the proceedings. That’s opposition!
On the football field, there is only one thing that keeps my favorite teams, the Eagles and the Steelers from being the Super Bowl champs. That’s opposition! (They would have been 16-0 this past regular season if the opposing teams never showed up!)
It seems that whenever we try to accomplish things for at home, school, or work, there is opposition. It is also true that when we try to accomplish things for God in our personal lives or in the church there is opposition.
Why is there so much opposition to what we want to accomplish for the Lord? The obvious answer is the work of Satan. He is God’s enemy, and he is ours! 1 Peter 5:8, 2 Corinthians 11:14, Ephesians 6:12.
How do we handle opposition? Nehemiah 4 answers that question. Nehemiah and the people of Jerusalem were rebuilding the walls of the city. There were those who opposed the building project, and tried to destroy it.
WORK PRAYERFULLY – Vss. 1-6
Those opposed to God’s work started talking. They mocked, ridiculed and criticized. They tried to discourage the building project with their words. Nehemiah and the people responded with work and prayer! The people continued to build, and Nehemiah continued to pray.
WATCH CONTINUALLY – Vss. 7-9
A conspiracy was planned against the work at Jerusalem. Nehemiah and the children of Israel set a watch for day and night, looking out for any possible attacks. They also continued to watch in prayer as well.
WAR ENCOURAGINGLY – Vss. 10-15
Evidently the workers became discouraged and were afraid. Vss. 10-12
Nehemiah encouraged them by making them ready to fight if they had to. Vss. 13-15
Most of us don’t like to be at war, but when Satan is involved, war is inevitable, and we must be ready to fight. See Ephesians 6:10-18.
After Nehemiah’s encouraging words, the people were ready to fight if they had to. Vss. 16-18
WARN IMMEDIATELY – Vss. 19-23
A warning system was set up, so when the enemy was spotted, there would be an immediate response. We need to be alert to the attacks of Satan, and be ready to warn others when they occur. When they do occur, we need to band together to fight the attack.