Dealing with External Opposition

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : Nehemiah 4:1-15

Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your . . . homes. (v. 14)

The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem was accomplished by volunteer work. In order to motivate such a large work force, at least two things were needed. The volunteers had to buy into the goals of the project, and they had to feel they were contributing to the overall success of reaching those goals.

God’s people pursued those goals in spite of the pagan nations around them, who did everything they could to inhibit the Jews from success. Their leaders ridiculed the efforts of the Jews and even plotted to kill some of the volunteers. With each new threat, Nehemiah revised his plan for 24-hour protection, posting guards and arming at least half of his workers.

It’s tough to keep going when there is danger everywhere. But the returned exiles were determined to complete the work, and they were convinced that “our God will fight for us” (4:20). It’s amazing to read that they completed the construction project in just 52 days (6:15).

Opposition to the work of the Lord continues yet today. The devil will never stop his assaults on the home, the church, and the kingdom, and we must be ever vigilant. The most important thing for us is to pull together as a team, knowing that we are not alone and that our God will fight for us.


Lord, enable your church to fight the enemy and advance your kingdom. Thank you for your promise that you will fight for us.