March 13, 2021

Pray and Work, Despite Opposition

Nehemiah 4:1-6

When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews. . . .

—  Nehemiah 4:1

After a long period of exile and destruction from conquering armies, God’s people were allowed to rebuild the temple of the Lord and the city of Jerusalem (see 2 Chronicles 36). Nehemiah led the people in rebuilding the wall, but they faced a lot of opposition from their neighbors in Samaria.

Sanballat and other local leaders opposed Nehemiah and the people of Judah (now also called the Jews), ridiculing and scoffing at them. They threatened to fight and stir up trouble to prevent the Jews from rebuilding.

In the midst of all this, Nehemiah and the people prayed to God for help and “posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.” The people were vigilant and worked hard together, and they finished the wall in just 52 days (Nehemiah 6:15)!

We can learn from this example. We can pray, “O God, please protect us from threats and dangers, and give us strength for our work each day. Help us to serve you in all that we do.” And before we go to bed at night, it’s also important to lock our doors.

We always need God’s help and protection. Our “enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). So we pray and work, depending on God every day.

Father God, we need your help and guidance and protection each day. When we face threats and opposition, help us to trust in you and to serve you faithfully. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Jang Ho Park

Jang Ho Park is a pastor in Tacoma, Washington. He and his wife, Jong Boon, have two sons.

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