Faithlife Sermons

Dealing with Detractors - Part One

After the Exile  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Anyone Can Be a Critic - vs. 1-3

Sanballat had nothing to gain and everything to loose.

Cananite - descendent of Noah’s son Ham who looked upon his father’s nakedness and was cursed by his father.
1 Chronicles 1:8–16 NASB95
The sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. The sons of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raama and Sabteca; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. Cush became the father of Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth. Mizraim became the father of the people of Lud, Anam, Lehab, Naphtuh, Pathrus, Casluh, from which the Philistines came, and Caphtor. Canaan became the father of Sidon, his firstborn, Heth, and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites and the Hamathites.
The only thing that qualified Sanballat was that he had a mouth.

When you face opposition to the work God has called you to perform, you must compare the source of opposition to the source of the work.

Let me be clear, Sanballat was not in a position of authority, Nehemiah had authorization from the King.
Sanballat and Tobiah were simply two critics who felt threatened by the move of God.
It doesn’t take any unique skill to criticize.

The people of God united in the face of their critics and determined to honor God.

Give Your Critics to God - vs. 4-5

Nehemiah’s prayer was not one filled with grace.

While I encourage you to go to God in prayer as you encounter opposition, I would also encourage you to do so with a spirit of humility and intercession.
Nehemiah knew that this was someone who was a descendent of a nation that God had instructed the Israelites to wipe out, a task at which they had failed.

God is capable of dealing with those who stand in opposition to Him.

Don’t take on the task of “standing up for God” against your critics.
Your job isn’t to defend God, it is to honor Him.

The best way to do that is often the same way that Nehemiah did, ask God to straighten it out.

Deuteronomy 32:35 NASB95
‘Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them.’

Work in Spite of Opposition vs. 6-8

I love the first phrase used in verse six in NASB, “So we built the wall...”

It is a very “Forrest Gump”, matter of fact, type statement.

Nehemiah’s response was to pray and work.

Pray in the knowledge that it all depends upon God, and work with the attitude that He is going to do it all through us.
Knowing their enemy was plotting against them only intensified their resolve as it illuminated the threats that were at their doorsteps.
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