They will come—the dream-slayers.
They always do.
In the book of Job it says,
“I am surrounded by mockers. I watch how bitterly they taunt me.” (17:2)
Job knew them. Nehemiah did, too. These guys with belittling smirks on their faces and obnoxious envy in their hearts.
But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? … Nehemiah 2:19
I wish it were not so, but in my all my years of working in and out of the church I have never seen it to fail. A new work begins, and the Sanballats, Geshems, and Tobiahs show up. (Yeah, I know.) It’s a drag…
But it’s real.
Jesus was opposed, mocked, and scorned everywhere He went.
So, since no servant is above his Master, and we know that we are in a war, and no good thing goes unopposed by the enemy? Let’s look to scripture promptly for the solutions we need.
God ALWAYS has an answer for us!
I think Nehemiah knew this type of nemesis well. He had probably run into plenty of jealousy as the king’s cup bearer, and I imagine he had learned, that dealing with opposition just went with the job.
Subsequently, since our opposing enemy is always lurking about like a roaring lion, [1 Peter 5:8] let’s glean some valuable wisdom and a few lessons from the Bible on how we should respond when the enemy uses folks like these. Particularly when they arrive with their pockets bulging with sticks and stones!
Then I prayed, “Hear us, our God, for we are being mocked. May their scoffing fall back on their own heads, and may they themselves become captives in a foreign land! Do not ignore their guilt. Do not blot out their sins, for they have provoked you to anger here in front of the builders.” Nehemiah 4:4-5
Whoa, Nehemiah’s not messing around! He knows Who is really in charge and so he takes his complaint straight to the throne of God.
The Bible tells us plainly,
Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. [Isaiah 41:21]
God invites us to come into His throne room and present our case,
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. [Hebrews 4:16]
Nehemiah knew right where to take his cause!
Let us do as Nehemiah did.
Keeping in mind that the Bible refers to the Word of God as a sword…
First—let us continue to do the work God has called us to do.
They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination. Nehemiah 6:9
Let us have one determined hand on the work—and another determined hand on our “sword” which is the Word of God.
Always remember whose servant you are…
And Who you are to work to please. You have been blessed with gifts and talents. You have been blessed to be a blessing. Speak only words seasoned with encouragement and grace.
God intends to use you! Don’t let the enemy sidetrack you. Just hit the “mute” button and get on with the task at hand.
Remember too, what Paul wrote to Timothy:
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
2 Timothy 3:1-5
You are to be a blessing to others.
God wisely chooses the foolish things.
Let us continue in the work that He has gifted us for and prepared us to do.
He will bring beauty from ashes.
And those dream-slayers?
(He’s got His eye them, too.)
With YOU whom shall I fear?