Nehemiah rallied the wall-building troops with persuasive voice and authoritative demeanor. They divided up the work load and rebuilt side by side, neighbor next to neighbor. Even some from near-by towns came to join the project.
As always, Satan reached out to overtake the good like a prowling lion. The obstacles began through three antagonists, one north of Judah, a second east of Judah, and a third trouble maker south of Judah, all who came to mock and ridicule.
But Nehemiah stood up to them.
“The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.” Nehemiah 2:20
The work began, priests and merchants, goldsmiths and commoners all reconstructing together. Once again, the antagonists complained and ridiculed vowing to join together in war against Jerusalem.
Nehemiah got word of their plan. Not to be undone, he posted guards day and night around the workmen. Each workman kept sword, spear, or bow with him at all times. Nehemiah prayed with them and stood by them. He reminded the workers—
“Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and daughters, your wives and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:14
The workers stayed alert and continued their work, but later, instead of trouble from without, trouble started brewing from within. A famine, due to lack of grain, had set up a series of challenges.
“We are mortgaging our fields, vineyards, and homes to buy grain.” Nehemiah 5:3
“We have had to borrow money to pay the king’s tax on our fields.” Nehemiah 5:4
They complained that their fellow Jews had caused them to—
“…subject our sons and daughters to slavery.” Nehemiah 5:5
Nehemiah again met the obstacle directly. He called together the nobles and officials who had caused this situation and pointed out their lack of integrity. Their guilt was obvious.
They kept quiet for they could find nothing to say. Nehemiah 5:8
Nehemiah followed through by committing them to better practices.
These were only some of Nehemiah’s obstacles, but each time he dealt with them head on.
What a great lesson for us. We all deal with obstacles, things that set us back in some way. A wayward child who is plunging head long into dangerous territory; a health issue that is dragging us down, an aggravating kink in a major project, a gnawing flaw in a relationship. Name your issue.
Have you prayed about it? Have you grabbed the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God? Have you dealt with it head on? That would be Nehemiah’s strategy—not a bad idea!
~ Joyce ~