Builders of the Wall (Nehemiah 3)

“And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work.” Nehemiah 2:18

Nehemiah quickly found out that no matter what good intentions you might have, there will always be opposition, whether that comes in the form of people, circumstance, or both!

In this case, Nehemiah found a city in ruins and an active group of men who were determined to impede his progress. They scoffed, scorned, and ridiculed. They plotted in secret against him. They were adamant in their perspective and firm in their resolve to stop the man of God.

Isn’t it funny that Nehemiah would see his mission fulfilled in only 52 days? It tells me that your opposition is greatest right before your breakthrough. When you see a bad situation compounded with people plotting against you, it’s because God is about to do something great in your life! Our job, as Nehemiah demonstrates, is to keep on building. We need to continue onward in the face of adversity!

First, we know the source of all our problems is the enemy. Ephesians 6:10-12 makes it clear that our adversaries are not flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces that are always plotting against us. Sometimes the enemy tries to twist our circumstances against us (think Job), where our health starts to fail us or our financial situation begins to sour. Sometimes the enemy uses people in our lives. Consider: if the enemy was able to persuade Judas betray Jesus, we are all susceptible to the pain of betrayal.

Second, no matter what we do, we are going to experience problems in our life. Therefore, why not sacrifice to become a builder and do something of worth! So many let the fear of man or life stop them from pursuing the vision that God has set before them. I understand, the path might be difficult, but there is no greater reward than fulfilling God’s plan in our lives!

Third, there will always be two types of people: Those who build and those who antagonize the builders. Some people make you their mission. They’ll seek to frustrate you. They’ll seek to ridicule your efforts. However, it’s always better to take the high road and keep on building. Keep on going to school to better yourself. Keep on practicing your vocation. Keep on being faithful to God.

The truth is that, eventually, those people who are so focused on you will ignore their own lives, falling into greater despair as life passes them by. I’ve never met an antagonist who ends well…

And if you are going through a “Nehemiah” moment in your life, let the following encourage you:

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. Genesis 50:20

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4