Nehemiah 4: Strength for Discouragement

In Nehemiah 4, Israel’s enemies are making verbal and physical threats on the workers in Jerusalem. The people felt so threatened that they built by day, guarded the walls at night, and wore a sword at all times (even when they went for water vs.23).

What I love are the opposing arguments of Sanballat and Tobiah (vs. 2-3):

“What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”

Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!”

Isn’t it amazing that God is able to bring burned stones back to life? I think that many times those stones represent the people who were rebuilding the walls, in many ways those stones represent us. We are the timid wall that even a fox could break down. How many times in life do situations, world events, and fear cause us to tumble instead of turning to the living God who is sovereign over all things and will sustain us in every moment of life before, during, and after death? Just a few things to think about.

What I love is how incredible Nehemiah’s response in vs. 4-5 are!

 Hear us, our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.


Sovereign Lord, while we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death, the valley of dry bones, a Garden of Gethsemane remind us that you are more than capable of making this dry and weary heart and body experience the abundant, full life that you have come to give.

Help me today not to get discouraged and give me a plan when people oppose me to seek the community of my church as a refuge and protection from the world, the devil, and to safeguard against the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Thank you for sustaining me and being my light and salvation for no matter where I go or what situations are placed in front of me. In your precious son’s name, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Chapter 3

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