We often wonder what are the causes of roadblocks in our life and/or in our walk with God that keeps us from moving forward. We end up pointing fingers at an object and/or the people around us we call strangers, friends, family and peers; just to have an answer and reason why we face them.
Charles Templeton said “Christianity does not remove you from the world and it’s problems; it makes you fit to live in it, triumphantly and usefully.” (Ephesians 6:12).
Adversary (1) One’s opponent in a contest, conflict, or dispute
During the beginning phase of rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, Nehemiah hit a roadblock from Sanballat (governor of Samaria, north of Jerusalem) and Tobiah (governor of Ammon, east of Jerusalem, across the Jordan) for they were angry and against of rebuilding (v.1-3). Think about it, with the walls of Jerusalem destroyed and torn down meant the folks within the city were vulnerable; opened to enemies, thieves and even governors over stretching their authority (Nehemiah 2:10, 17-20). As the wall repairs continued to move forward each day and the gaps sealing up, Sanballat and Tobiah together made a plot to attack Jerusalem (v.7-8).
Instead of letting criticism and fear control Nehemiah’s plans for Jerusalem, he had a different approach towards both rebuilding the walls and addressing his adversary (Sanballat and Tobiah). First Nehemiah turned to God in prayer, covering the whole situation in prayer (v.4, 9). Secondly Nehemiah shared his faith and encouraged the others not to be afraid but to “remember the Lord who is great and awesome…” (v.14). And third, half the folks were assigned to work on the wall while the other half was armed and ready; standing by behind the workers and the wall ready for any attacks (v.15-20).
- To whom do you turn to when faced with adversity? (a) parents? (b) friends? (c) God?
- To whom does Nehemiah turn in face of opposition (v.4)?
- Which gives you more difficulty: external criticism or internal fear?
Proverbs 4:14-15, John 16:33, 2 Corinthians 4:8-10, Ephesians 6:10-19, James 4:7