30 Days in the Bible, Day 25: Nehemiah 4:1-6
Seeing the world mock God’s people is not a new phenomenon. We may think that we face unprecedented challenges from those who not only oppose God but who actively ridicule even the thought of Him. Yet we see in this passage that open mockery has been used by those opposed to the Lord for millennia.
I believe the enemies of Israel not only sought to discourage the Israelites, but to encourage themselves. They wanted to believe that they were able to keep Israel in check and that anything the Jews did would only be done with their approval. Their snide comments and condescending insults weren’t designed just to sap the spirit of Israel, but also to bolster the spirit of their enemies. Their observations were based on their own self-perceived superiority.
The same is true of those who mock Jesus and His church today. They not only want to discourage people from actively seeking and serving the Lord; they also want to make themselves feel superior. From their vantage point they are the intelligent, the wise, and the strong. Anyone who tries to follow Jesus is, by contrast, stupid, foolish, and weak. There is often no argument given anymore, since the superiority of the enemies of Christ is simply assumed by the culture at large.
The best way to fight back is not to stand and argue with the mockers, but to do what Nehemiah did: pray, trust, and work. If we are inconstant communication with our Heavenly Father, He will hear and answer our prayers whether others believe in prayer or not. If we trust Him, we will find the faith to believe we can overcome the obstacles set before us, no matter what those obstacles may be. If we work for the Lord, we will see results for His kingdom that no amount of insult can destroy.
Our world not only doesn’t think that it is important to follow the Lord, but that to follow Him is a foolish waste of time. We need to stand strong against this tide, which we can only do through the strength He gives us. Our prayers, our faith, and our labors for Jesus will have profound results when we focus on Him and what He has called us to do rather than the hollow mockery of those who do not believe.