Read: Nehemiah 4:1-5
Don’t think that your enemies are going to stand back and watch you progress. Whenever you do anything to further God’s kingdom, the devil will be waiting for an opportunity to attack you at the point at which you are most vulnerable. Building a wall for the city of Jerusalem was a formidable task. Nehemiah knew it, the people knew it, and his enemies knew it. As the workers laid stone upon stone, their enemies hurled insults at them. The adage that says, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me,” is simply not true. Words hurt. They hurt the shepherd boy David when he heard the giant Goliath taunting God’s people. Those words made him spring into action (1 Samuel 17.26-32). Now Sanballat and others used words to hurt Nehemiah and the building crew. It hurt enough to compel Nehemiah to take time out to pray… a curse on them! He didn’t retaliate, he didn’t render evil for evil, he used the arsenal he had—prayer!
Sanballat and company were threatened by any successes the people achieved. In today’s language, such people are called “haters.” Are you aware of “haters” in your community? What can you do to deflect their influence? How can you pray for them?
Make a concerted effort to focus on the tasks you have at hand and ask God to let you not become distracted by those who are against the work you do for God’s kingdom. Pray: Lord, guard my lips that I will not become embroiled in petty arguments even though my feelings may be hurt. Keep me steadfast in the work you have called me to do.