Read: Neh 2:11-3:32
They replied at once, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work. But when Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard of our plan, they scoffed contemptuously. Nehemiah 2:18-19
Nehemiah goes out and surveys the damage to the wall and the work to be done. Then he meets with the leaders of the people to plan the repairs. Most of chapter 3 is the account of who did what portion of the reconstruction.
Once the people were united in purpose and mission, opposition popped up… “when Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard of our plan, they scoffed contemptuously.”
Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab (this guy had to be a professional wrestler) immediately start trouble for the Jewish rebuilders. They laugh at them, scoff at them, even accuse them falsely of going against the king.
Now this “trio of trouble” as I call them, oppose the reconstruction of the wall all the way through the book of Nehemiah. They stand to lose power and influence if God’s people reestablish themselves and the security of the city. So they try and stop Nehemiah at every turn.
Here’s the lesson for me… vs. 18 says, “So they (the Jews) began the good work.” And the very next line says… “But when Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard of our plan, they scoffed contemptuously.”
Don’t miss this. The opposition to the “good work” started almost immediately when the plan went public. When you make a decision to “begin a good work” in your life, there will always be people who will try to stop you. The fact is… for many of us, scoffing is all it takes to discourage us and get us to quit. Nehemiah pushed through this opposition and even more significant threats to the project. He would not be stopped. Nehemiah didn’t give up and the wall got built in record time.
So what good work is God calling you to? Or what good work has He called you to and you stopped because of opposition? There will always be opposition. The question is – will you push through, lead through, do the right thing no matter what? If God is for you, who can be against you!!! Keep fighting the good fight.
Father – help me to do the good You are calling me to do, in spite of opposition and discouraging people. Like Nehemiah, put some people in my life who will encourage me, and help me to not lose heart, even when things get tough. Help me to believe that You are bigger than the opposition… In Jesus’ name, amen.