When They Laugh You to Scorn

Nehemiah 2:18-20 “Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work. But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king? Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.”

In this passage, we see the following progression:

  1. Nehemiah tells the people of his burden and the door of opportunity that God has opened up for him.
  2. The people agree to rise up and build the wall of the city.
  3. They prepare to do the good work.
  4. Their enemies laugh at them and mock them, doubting their ability to do it and accusing them of wrong motivations.
  5. They determine to move forward, trusting in God’s ability to prosper them and denying the claims of their enemies.

When we decide to do something for God, we can rest assured that opposition will come. Whether it be in the form of a deliberate verbal attack, persecution, or just our own insecurities and fears, we will have to face it.

At that moment is when the battle is won or lost. Will we cave into the fears or will we go forward in faith? Will we listen to the mocking laughter or will we listen to the Holy Spirit of God?

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