Persist - Bible Studies for Life for August 5, 2018
Bible Studies for Life
August 5, 2018
Nehemiah 4:1-3, 6-9, 14-18 (HCSB)
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Wrong! Words have power and they can hurt. Sanballat was counting on this. He launched a war of words in the form of mockery at Nehemiah and the people of Israel.
Sanballat mocked Israel as a people, “What are these pathetic Jews doing?”
He mocked their goal, “Can they restore it, by themselves?” He mocked their faith, “Will they offer sacrifices?” Sanballat mocked their plans, “Will they finish it?” He mocked their resources, “Can they bring these burnt stones back to life from the mounds of rubble?” (Neh. 4:2). Tobias mocked the quality of their work, “If a fox climbed up what they are building, he would break down their stone wall” (Neh. 4:3).
Nehemiah prayed for God to deal with them. Martin Luther once said, “Work as if all depends on you; pray as if all depends on God.” Nehemiah prayed and the people worked until the entire wall was complete all the way around, about half its original height. This infuriated the enemy and they plotted to fight the people.
Nehemiah prayed again and took action. He had guards stand in the vulnerable areas of the walls with swords, spears and bows. Half the people worked while half the people stood guard. Those who worked had a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other.
Charles Spurgeon named his church magazine “The Sword and the Trowel.” He said it was a record of the combat with sin and labor for the Lord.
You will have opposition. Pray and persist in the work. When you are being mocked for your Christian work, know that building and battling are normal parts of the Christian life. There will always be those who will attempt to distract you and mock you. Remember, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4, KJV).