Today’s Scripture: Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel. So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days. Nehemiah 2:9-11
When you are going to do something for God, there is always one thing that you can count on: expect resistance. There will be people who hate God and will hate the fact that you are trying to do something for Him.
Nehemiah started out on his journey. He had the letters of protection from Artaxerxes as well as soldiers and horsemen with him. However, not everyone was happy to see him. Our passage today states that two men in particular, Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite, were grieved when they heard that someone was come to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.
This seems crazy to me. Why would you be mad that someone was trying to help the Jewish people? We should love Israel, and we should love the Jewish people. We should be grateful to them as a nation because from the Jews came our Savior, Jesus the Messiah. The Jewish people were also responsible for penning the words of Scripture.
Anti-Semitism is nothing new. Early on we see Pharaoh murdering the male Jewish babies. Later, Haman sought to annihilate the Jews. Herod would kill all the male Jewish babies under two years old. Today, nations like Iran and organizations like Hamas seek the destruction of Israel. They go so far as to refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
Satan hates God, and he hates God’s earthly people. So, we should expect resistance. When we set out to do something for God, we are entering the enemy’s territory. When God has a hold on our lives and we are set apart for the gospel, we should expect resistance. That is not going to be a popular message to preach, but it is the truth.
Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.