Read Nehemiah 1
Nehemiah sits weeping about the decay of Jerusalem (Neh. 1:1-4). Persian king grants him permission and support to rebuilt it (2:19). The enemy is grieved (2:10,19). Everyone has a part (chap. 3).
The ministry of God is sure to meet with opposition when we decide to occupy our time on eternal treasures rather than the trash of earthly desires and do the will of God. Sanballat and his followers attempted to stop the Israelites' work on rebuilding the Temple and restoring the walls around Jerusalem. Expressing mockery, they asked: What is this thing that ye do? (Neh. 2:19). Following this, the persecution was directed toward slander: Will ye rebel against the king? Any ministry initiated of God will suffer attacks and ridicule in one way or another. When the Lord's work cannot otherwise be hindered, an evil motive is sure to be suggested. Scoffing, scandal, and slander have always been favorite tools of Satan and of the Church's enemies to undermine the people of God. But the Word of God assures us: Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world (I John 4:4). Knowing this Truth, Nehemiah replied to his enemies: The God of heaven, He will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build (Neh. 2:20).
Elijah was wrongfully accused by wicked Ahab of being a troubler of Israel (I Kin. 18:17). Daniel was accused of disobedience and was consigned to the lion's den (Dan. 6:11-17). Christ was accused of being a malefactor (an evildoer) (John 18:30; 19:16-30). Our Lord said: It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? (Matt. 10:25). It is not surprising to hear false rumors, scandal, and vicious ridicule against a church or a person who has joined the faithful to obey our Lord's Command: Go . . . teach all nations . . . to observe all things . . . I have commanded you (28:18-19). But notice His precious promise, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world (28:20).
As the rebuilding of Jerusalem was opposed by many enemies, so the enemy of the ministry of the "Good News" has many attractions to cause some to seek a more favorable time to serve the Lord. But those who really want to do the will of God will obey when He calls. Since the king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of the water: He turneth it whithersoever He will (Prov. 21:1), you can be sure every need will be supplied. What God initiates, He completes. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass (Ps. 37:5).
Thought for Today:
Faithful surrender to the will of God ensures ultimate victory.
Through Nehemiah's prayer for his people (Neh. 1:4-11). Christ also prayed for His own throughout the ages, which includes us today (John 17:20).
1:5 terrible awesome, greatly to be feared; 2:2 countenance face; 2:7 convey me over allow me to pass; 2:20 no portion no part or property; 3:19 turning corner; 3:23 over against in front of, opposite of; 3:25 lieth out extends from.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Alan C. Wallace and in memory of Iva Ann McElroy • Government Officials: Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN), Rep. Allen Boyd, Jr. (FL), and Rep. Eric Cantor (VA) • Country: Jordan (5 million) in southwestern Asia • Major languages: Arabic and English • Religious tolerance • 93% Muslim; 5% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Pray in faith that God will bless your family (Gen. 17:18-20).
Optional Reading: 2 Corinthians 8
Memory Verse for the Week: Acts 1:8