READING: Nehemiah 3:1-7:3
To serve the Lord faithfully is to invite opposition from others who do not follow Him – and all of us must choose what we will do when that opposition develops. In some cases, that conflict comes from Satan and his forces who want to devour and destroy us; in other cases, the forces use human instruments in their pride and rebellion to stand against God’s people. In all cases, we must rely on the Lord for His help.
Nehemiah knew that opposition. He and his people were rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, and other non-believing leaders, including Tobiah and Sanaballat, sought to trap, taunt, ridicule, discourage, and divide the people. In turn, Nehemiah did what he most often did: he prayed even as he prepared his people for the conflict. He prayed for God to bring judgment on their enemies, to help them even as they stationed warriors to fight, and to strengthen his hands (Nehemiah’s) as he led the people.
The result of the prayer and preparation was this: “The wall was completed in fifty-two days, on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul. When all our enemies heard this, all the surrounding nations were intimidated and lost their confidence, for they realized that this task had been accomplished by our God” (Neh 6:15).
The people prayed and prepared, but God did it. Amen.
PERSONAL REFLECTION: What is the balance in your life between prayer and preparation for opposition?
DAILY PRAYER: “God, help me to be wise today as I pray about, prepare for, and respond to any opposition I face.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Nehemiah 7:4-8:12