“So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about it, and the surrounding nations became afraid, our enemies’ self-esteem fell severely; because they realized that this work had been accomplished by God.” Nehemiah 6:15-16 (CJB)
Have you ever had to deal with a bully? Because of their size, expertise, or influence, some people feel the need to intimidate, harass and threaten others. At the core of the bully’s heart is low self-esteem. Even if they have considerable power, they fear losing it, so they feel compelled to prove their dominance over and over.
Some bullies are seriously pathologically mean and dangerous. They continue bullying long after being locked away in prison with other bullies. But most bullies cower in the midst of opposition. I’m not tall, so when I was younger, I was bullied. A big guy wants to prove himself, so he looks for the smallest guy to harass. What these bullies didn’t know was that I had a big brother, and the two of us were always fighting. So, I was bullied by several kids, but only once. You see, I knew how to fight. It is amazing how much blood a well-placed punch to the nose can produce. Bullies learned that there were easier wins out there than me. Has Satan learned that about you?
Nehemiah and the struggling Jewish community faced a collection of bullies. They mocked Israel and puffed up their feathers like a peacock, but all their threats were nothing more than hot air. They were trying to intimidate Israel against following the Lord because history had proven that when Israel believed God, they were unstoppable. In short, their power through intimidation was coming to an end. Once the wall of Jerusalem was completed, the bullies’ true colors came out: they became afraid, and their self-esteem fell severely. Israel had won a great victory by submitting to God amid opposition. In fact, God had won a great victory through the lives of His submitted people. He led His people back to Himself by guiding them, step-by-step, to a right relationship with Him. He was reversing their steps, back up the same path their parents’ generation had walked down in their departure from God.
Yes, there was victory, but that did not mean the enemy gave up trying to undermine Israel’s return to the Lord. The enemy never quits; it just changes its tactics.
“Also in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came to them. For many in Judah were pledged to him, because he was the son-in-law of Shechaniah the son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah. Also they reported his good deeds before me, and reported my words to him. Tobiah sent letters to frighten me.” Nehemiah 6:17-19 (NKJV)
If bullying does not prove effective, perhaps politics or intermarriage will. Maybe it will be something else. The reality is that the enemy never stops trying to stop us, so we must never stop pursuing the Lord. That is why we search His Word, every day.
Elevating your Faith with daily Bible reading and devotionals written by Steve Wiggins.
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