When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, Nehemiah 4:1
When attempting to do something great, most people will have some enemies. There will be opposition to what is being done.
There will be two main types of enemies that a person can have. One is the type that thinks what is being done is crazy and strives to discourage it. They reject the idea of doing something great. This type of enemy is very common.
The other type of enemy is those who physically strive to stop the work. Stopping can be done by physically harming the person or by sabotaging the work in some manner. Blocks are put up as fast as possible to stop the work from being accomplished.
Nehemiah and the Israelites were working on rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Sanballat and several others saw this and were very angry about it. They did not want the city rebuilt, so they set out to stop the people.
Opposition to the things of God has not changed over the years. Jesus was opposed by many people when He walked on the earth, and ultimately gave His life because of opposition, though God used that death. The disciples were often imprisoned and tortured for the doing the work of God.
Believers today are often opposed. As believers stand for life, some oppose them saying they are being insensitive to the desires of people. As believers work to build God’s kingdom, the enemy tries to stop them in many ways. Rules are put in place against believers, false reports are given, and in many places their lives are threatened.
Sometimes this opposition even occurs inside the church. People do not like to change and want to stay in their old ways.
Know that as soon as you begin to do God’s work, the enemy will rise up to attempt to stop you. You will be ridiculed and held back at times. Hold fast to God and continue to do His work. Even Jesus was opposed, so you are in good company.
God can give you the wisdom and strength to keep going forward in the face of the opposition. Working for God and doing His mission is an eternal perspective, not the temporal view the world has. Don’t give in to the opposition, but do God’s work.
I pray today that you will know the work God has for you to do; that God will give you favor and strength to do His work; that God will remove fear of the enemy; and that God will protect you from the strikes of the enemy.
When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes.” Isaiah 10:12
Judah, the southern nation of the split Israel, had chosen to walk away from God and follow false gods. God chose to punish them by using the king of Assyria to take over the land and crush Jerusalem. The king of Assyria did not follow God in any way and was very harsh in his treatment of the Israelites.
Judah and all the Israelites were an enemy to Assyria, so as the king of Assyria conquered Judah and Jerusalem, he did it with great pride. He considered himself better than the Israelites. God saw his heart and promised that once the punishment of Judah was done, He would punish the king of Assyria for his pride.
Pride over the destruction of an enemy is something that many people have. They like to see the enemy fall. It is especially great pride when the enemy falls at their own hands and power.
The world feels that pride is a good thing. Everyone deserves to be proud when they are able to crush and destroy their enemy.
Yet, God hates pride. Pride looks at self and says that self did it all. The only reason the king of Assyria was able to destroy Jerusalem was because God allowed it to happen. In himself, the king had no real power.
The same is true in your own life. In yourself you have no real power. All of your abilities have been given to you by God. There may come times when God allows you to crush your enemy. When this occurs, it should not be done with great pride.
Jesus said that we are to love our enemies. Having pride in their destruction does not display true love. As a follower of Jesus, you should be weeping over the destruction of your enemy. You should be praying for their souls and redemption.
Jesus redeemed you when you were His enemy. Can you not do the same for your enemies?
Remove pride from your life and allow God to work through you to touch others for Jesus.
I pray today that God will reveal any pride in your heart; that God will strengthen you to remove all pride; that you will remain humble before God; and that God will use you to touch many lives for Jesus.