Nehemiah 4 stood out to me from all of these passages because of the encouragement it provides for Christians facing opposition or discouragement. In chapter four, the Jews were facing opposition as they rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem. The Sanballat heard the Jews were building the wall and mocked them. Nehemiah cried out to God saying,
“Hear, O our God, for we are despised. Turn back their taunt on their own heads and give them up to be plundered in a land where they are captives”
In the face of opposition, Nehemiah cried out to God and trusted in God as his validator rather than those around him. Nehemiah’s response seemed to be the general response of the people. The Jews remained faithful and trusted that God would also remain faithful to them. The Jews continued to build the wall. Opposition continued as the Jews’ enemies heard of their success; however, the Jews endured in their work.
“So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work”Nehemiah 4:6
In spite of the opposition and lies that could have filled their minds, the Jews were focused on the task that God had given them. Rather than let the voices of their enemies fill their minds, they listened to God’s instruction and completed the wall. Their minds were set on the will of God.
I may not be called to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem; however, I still found powerful truth in this passage for contemporary believers. We will face opposition in our walks with God, yet God is faithful to complete the work he started in us (Phil 1:6). I sometimes struggle to hold fast to the Word of God and the call He has placed on my life. I am prone to dwell on the discouragement I feel or the lies I believe. I can allow opposition to hinder me from doing the work of God. This passage exemplifies a healthy way of facing opposition. I must surrender my doubts and fears to God and trust that He is caring for me and that He is faithful. Additionally, this passage challenged me to consider if I am walking in God’s will and living out His word. The Jews were not passively standing by rather they were working for God where He had them. Overall, this passage encouraged me that I can trust God in the face of opposition and challenged me to pursue God’s will wholeheartedly.