Scripture: Nehemiah 4:10-12
Thus in Judah it was said, "The strength of the burden bearers is failing, Yet there is much rubbish; And we ourselves are unable To rebuild the wall." Our enemies said, "They will not know or see until we come among them, kill them and put a stop to the work." When the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times, "They will come up against us from every place where you may turn,"
Insights: Over the past few weeks we have observed many outward attacks against Judah and the people of Jerusalem who are rebuilding the wall. Each time they were faced with sarcasm, mockery, opposition, criticism or conspiracy the children of God turned to Him. In today’s verses we see them finally collapse and become discouraged. It is interesting to note who possessed enough influence to cause this breakdown. It was not Sanballat or Tobiah, but rather the tribe of Judah. Judah was the leader among the people of Israel. They were the kingly line through which Jesus, the Messiah, came (Genesis 49:8-10). Here, however, we see them poisoning the hearts of the children of God. Another source of discouragement also came from fellow Jews who had been living too close to the enemy camps. Ten times these individuals came back into town with discouraging words. You cannot constantly be bombarded with negativism without having some of it land on you. So, if you are one who is bent toward discouragement anyway, then you need to avoid speaking with people known for their negativity. Beloved, these verses are very real for the modern church. The assaults the American church is receiving from outside of its walls are more intense now than they have ever been. Yet the church continues to press on with their proclamation of the gospel. At the same time, 6,000 churches close their doors every year and in the vast majority of those cases it was because of internal issues that finally brought the church to its knees. Starting tomorrow we are going to look at some of the consequences for falling prey to negativism and discouragement. Until then, let us strive to live with our eyes centered on Jesus and let His light shine through us and allow us to be a source of encouragement to those around us. Guard your heart, Beloved, and stay transfixed on Jesus.
- Have those who ought to have known better ever discouraged you?
- How did you feel after this discouragement?
Prayer: Father, protect me from myself. How many times have I been the source of discouragement for someone else? Let my life be one of encouragement. Let Your Son shine in me. Amen.