Trouble

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Nehemiah 4:1-15

TO CHEW ON: "After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, 'Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.' Nehemiah 4:14

The people eagerly set to work rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. Each family was responsible to fix the section closest to their home. Everyone helped.

Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1976, 1992

But as the piles of rubbish became a strong, thick wall again, there were rumors of trouble. Rulers from the neighboring Samaria and Ammon didn’t want Jerusalem to be strong. They were angry about Nehemiah’s project and made fun of it.

“These feeble Jews think they can bring life back into rubbish,” said Sanballat from Samaria.

“That wall is so weak it would break if even a fox walked on top of it,” said Tobiah from Ammon.

When Nehemiah heard these things, he prayed about them and then kept right on working. Soon the wall was half as high as it had been before.

Then Sanballat and Tobiah began to worry. Secretly they made a plot to come to Jerusalem with an army. News of the plot leaked out to Nehemiah. Again he prayed and then he stationed guards at intervals on top of the wall.

Still more rumors kept coming to Nehemiah. The Jewish people who lived on the borders of Samaria and Ammon came to warn Nehemiah.“They say that wherever we turn, they will attack and kill us unless we stop building.”

But even threats of death didn’t discourage Nehemiah. Instead he made sure that each low section of the wall was guarded especially well. Then he encouraged the workers: “Don’t be afraid of them. Instead think of how great our God is.”

It’s not unusual to get opposition when we’re doing things God has asked us to do. What has God asked you to do – start a Christian club in your school, invite your friends to church, be friends with someone who is unpopular? Whatever it is, don’t be surprised if you get teased, challenged and opposed. Satan doesn’t like it when we take a stand for Jesus. Be like Nehemiah and refuse to be intimidated by mocking, teasing, rumors and threats. Remember that your God is a very big God!

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to trust You and be brave when opposition comes. Amen.

MORE: City Walls

Find out about city walls in Bible times. Using books and the internet, discover:

1. What were city walls made of?

2. How high were they?

3. How wide?

4. What were some tools used in building these walls?

5. How did Bible time builders move materials like rocks, beams and bricks to the tops of these walls without cranes and elevators?

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