Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.” – Neh 4:12
After discouragement came the next enemy from within the ranks – FEAR.
True – there was a death threat issued (4:11) and the possibility of an unseen enemy sneaking inside the walls and killing workers was real.
But repeating the issue ten times over? Really? Someone who should be on your own side has suddenly become part of the opposition! Family members and close friends are famous for this kind of behavior…
Outside Jerusalem concerned mothers and relatives were stressed and afraid and they ratcheted up the fear factor by repeating over and over again the danger the workers in Jerusalem faced.
But everyone is saying…. Haven’t you heard… Don’t you know… It’s not good… You should stop… Come to a safe place… Why are you being so insistent, so hard-headed… It’s dangerous for crying out loud!
Kelly Minter calls them “ancient-day re-Tweeters of Sanballat’s threats”.
She also writes, “I believe the Jews from the surrounding areas were loving and concerned citizens, but they had lost sight of what was most important: the successful rebuild of Jerusalem. Even well-meaning people can unintentionally draw us away from God’s will in our lives.”
Discouraging words may be true. You must choose what to do with them.
Who is repeating discouraging messages to you? Stop listening to them.
Are you repeating discouraging messages to yourself or others? Stop re-tweeting what is not helpful for building others up. (Ephesians 4:29).
Let us not lose our focus on the things we are called to be doing.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith… “Our great and awesome God” as Nehemiah called Him.
– Nehemiah, a Bible study by Kelly Minter.