When Opposition Comes-Nehemiah 4 and 5
In these chapters of Nehemiah, opposition came to the rebuilding of the wall. At first the opposition came in the form of threats then became serious enough for half of the workers to stand guard while the others worked. Each worker had a weapon at their side ready to use if the trumpet was sounded. Then in chapter 5, the opposition came from within. Many of the poor were being taken advantage of by their fellow country men and had to sell their sons and daughters into slavery. How did Nehemiah respond? He responded in praying to God and presenting to God their need. He even prayed that God would take vengeance on their enemies. Then still keeping his eyes on getting the wall built, he made a few adjustments. Part of the the workers would provide protection while the others built the wall. They were all to be armed and ready to fight if needed. Now here is my favorite part. As the people were almost ready to give into discouragement. Nehemiah reminded them of who God is and why they were building the wall. In 4:14, he said, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and daughters and your wives and homes.” In regards to the problem with his countrymen, he confronted the sin and urged them to repent and change their ways. Thankfully they did just that.
This school year has been a hard one. It seems like wherever we turn there is some type of opposition. Some of it comes from the outside in regards to funding or security or even just a hard winter with frozen pipes and cold rooms. Other times it comes from within due to student discipline, personal conflict, or changes in how things are done. We don’t have names to our enemies like Nehemiah did but know that the great deceiver is behind much of it. Our challenge is to keep on our knees remembering who God is and what his purpose is for us here. We are also challenged to stay armed with the Sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Opposition will come when we are doing God’s work. This is a given. How we stay focused on His plan in spite of the opposition will bring Glory to God. As Nehemiah prayed it was not for himself but that God’s name would glorified. May I keep my focus off of me and on to God. As I studied this passage with my study group, I was convicted of the need to stay focused on the goal and on my Savior. I realize on those days when things are hard that even though it feels very physical the battle is often a spiritual one.
No matter where we live or what we do, if we are doing what God wants us to do there will be opposition. My prayer is that you will stay in the fight as you face yours.
Dear God, Forgive me when I have not taken seriously the battle going on around me. Forgive me for the days I neglect to spend time with you. May you be glorified in what is to come for the school where I work. May we press on towards the goal that you have for us. Amen