“When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates— Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: ‘Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.’ But they were scheming to harm me…” – Nehemiah 6:1-2
Are you trying to make sense of life? Are you wondering what your purpose is and what you are here for? And as you seek to rebuild your life and ask these questions, do you sense that there always seems to be opposition? Can you imagine how Nehemiah felt here in the Old Testament?
In the first four chapters we see Nehemiah called and how he inspects the torn down walls of Jerusalem. We then see him gather everyone together and how they begin to rebuild the walls. In this book, there are many great stories and fantastic lessons we can discuss, but one stands out to me as we get to chapters five and six. We begin to see opposition to the work and oppression. Oppression is unjust treatment and can cause mental pressure and distress. It can even cause depression.
Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem. These men were enemies to Nehemiah and the people. They did not want the work to be done. So, they came up with lies about Nehemiah and spread them everywhere. They even threatened his very life. Also, the people were oppressed by the government with high taxes and were being used by the leaders.
Nehemiah was wise to recognize his enemy and as a result, he knew how to battle the enemy. He realized that these men were trying to instill fear and we see him in chapter six begin to pray to God. What was God’s response? He heard the prayers and delivered them!
Many times we experience God tugging on our hearts and when we begin “rebuilding” the walls of our life, Satan comes along to steal our joy. Very often he opens up doors with easy access to the very things we are trying to stay away from. We then get discouraged and fearful and fall right back into those things keeping us from rebuilding. The Bible says Satan came to “kill, steal and destroy” and we need to recognize his devices in our lives. The Bible does not just leave us there laying beat down on the ground though! The Bible also says that Jesus came to “give life and that more abundantly”. Just like we need to recognize Satan’s devices, we need to also recognize Jesus’ strength and help in our lives.
Are you feeling hopeless today? Have you have begun to “rebuild” and now experiencing opposition? Do you even sense oppression, depression and anxiety? Satan does not want you to have hope, he wants you to fear and turn back. Recognize the enemy and the tactics and pray like Nehemiah, Jesus can deliver you today!
“…we are not alone. Legions of angels are all around us. Hosts of glorified spirits look down upon us. We are surrounded with a mighty band of helpers. We are compassed about with a great cloud of witnesses; wherefore, “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus.” – Charles Spurgeon