From the Pastor’s Pen

Final Thoughts on Nehemiah 4:1-3

But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews.  And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing?  Will they fortify themselves?  Will they offer sacrifices?  Will they complete it in a day?  Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish—stones that are burned?”  Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall.”                      NKJV

The opponents of God’s kingdom mock God’s people as His kingdom advances.  When our Lord Jesus Christ was suffering for our sins, it was the bystanders looking on that mocked Him.  When his persecutors had woven a crown of thorns, they jammed it upon his head, beating him over the head with a stick, and bowing the knee before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews !“ (Matt. 27:29).  Ridicule is an effective weapon because it can demoralize the enemy.  It is like an arrow that is shot at inward insecurity.  It plants the seeds of doubt.

Sanballat spread his poison to his brothers and the army of Samaria.  The opponents of Christ’s Church are never content to mock alone.  They must gain allies by spreading their hatred to others.  In the church of Corinth there was such a party spirit.  Certain factions said “I am of Paul,” others, “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas” (1 Cor. 1:12).

Have you come face to face with opposition?  The straight and narrow walk is frequently opposed by God’s enemies.  Young people, expect to be mocked and ridiculed when you stand up for sobriety and purity.  Sometimes such opposition comes from where least expect it.  When enemies raise up their heads, don’t be discouraged; bow down on your knees in prayer.  Commit the matter to God.  Faithfully, persevere in the pathway that is most pleasing to God.  Be prepared to avail yourself of all the ordinary means to complete the task for the glory of God.                       Daniel B. Towner

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