Tobiah the Ammonite, who was standing beside him, remarked, “The stone wall would collapse if even a fox walked along the top of it!” (Nehemiah 4:3 NLT
Whenever Satan sees the people of God putting their shoulder to the task of building the kingdom of God, he begins his attacks. Nehemiah was besieged by insults and ridicule even before the work on the wall began. Using Sanballat and Tobiah, Satan unleashed his divisive tactics in an effort to destroy the work.
First, Sanballat ridiculed the workers. He said, What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they are doing? (v. 2) It’s true they were “poor” in terms of wealth, but “feeble” they were not. The word feeble means: withered, miserable, faint-hearted. At times, the people of God appear to be feeble by the world’s standards, lacking human resources, but what they don’t see is the vast amount of spiritual resources provided by God.
Second, Sanballat ridiculed the works by asking three taunting questions: (1) Will they restore the wall? (2) Will they offer sacrifices? (3) Will they finish in a day? (Can they bring the stones back to life from the rubbish heap) v.2
Third, Sanballat ridiculed their worship by saying, “Will they offer sacrifices?” (v. 2) To what was Sanballat referring? He was denying that God would help his people. Little does the world know of the many ways God comes to the aid of his people who are determined to stand true to his word. Missionaries are standing true all over the world as evidence of God’s unending loyalty to their cause.
Finally, Tobiah ridiculed their workmanship. “What are they building – if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stone?” (v.3)
How did Nehemiah respond? How do we respond when all looks hopeless? Like Nehemiah, we pray and ask God for wisdom and strength to complete the work. Paul says, “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” (1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT)
Thought for the Day: God rewards those who are faithful and stand true to the task.
Prayer: Dear Lord, you are merciful and gracious for which I am ever so thankful. Continue to give me strength and resolve to finish the work you have begun in my life.