Obedience in Opposition

Justin Smith

Nehemiah 6:8, 9 
“…I replied, “There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing.” They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination.”
Have you ever been wrongfully accused? Have you ever had someone fabricate lies to cause you hurt? I think we have all experienced this a time, or two, in life, and in the past, my reaction has not been any where near as wise or gracious as Nehemiah. Throughout the rebuilding process, Nehemiah and the faithful workers were tormented and threatened by surrounding enemies, and in the face of opposition they remained strong and vigorous. The two main rabble rousers, Sanballat and Tobiah, realized that their attempts to stop the work were falling short, so they adjusted their plan of attack and focused in on the leader, Nehemiah. The two plotted to bring physical harm upon him, but Nehemiah’s wisdom was too great. Their next scheme was to fabricate lies and accusations in hopes of instilling fear into Nehemiah and the workers, but none of these feeble attempts succeeded. In the face of attack and opposition, Nehemiah remained fervent and faithful, finding hope in the truth and the Truth.
How do you react under opposition and attack? Often, I take matters into my own hands seeking revenge and restitution in the pursuit of justice. I make it my personal vendetta to ensure that the truth is realized, the liars are revealed, and the situation is remedied, seeking my own acquittal. All of my attention zeroes in on the criticisms and concerns, and I completely forsake the calling that God has given to rebuild. Nehemiah remained resilient, finding strength in the comfort and call of His God. He did not allow himself to be deterred or distracted, but he remained determined, believing that God would be His deliverer and defender. Regardless of the accusations, the opposition, and the threats around me, I must remain confident and trust that if I am faithful I will see the goodness of the Lord.
Lord, please help me to trust and obey in the midst of opposition. Help me to die to my selfish desires that I might live for you. When the things of this life attempt to bring me down I will choose to remain strong and confident in you. Empower me to do your work that you might receive great glory.

Devotions for October 11

Nehemiah 5,6
Psalms 146
Luke 24

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