Helping Or Hindering?

Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me.  And they said, Let us rise up and build.  So they strengthened their hands for this good work.  But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Gesham the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do?  will ye rebel against the king?

Nehemiah 2: 18-19

Nehemiah had a great vision of rebuilding Jerusalem.  He shared this vision with others, and we looked at their response yesterday.  They said that they would “rise up and build.”  That should be our response.  But there were others who didn’t quite respond in that way.  Any time we try to do something for the Lord, we are going to run into some people who fall into this second category.

Sanballat, Tobiah and Gershem did not help Nehemiah “rise up and build.”  They did not “strengthen their hands for this good work.”  They “laughed them to scorn”, they “despised them”, and they mocked them.  It’s easy to look back at a story in the Bible and think that Nehemiah was some super-Christian who wasn’t bothered in the least by these idiots.  But I’m sure it didn’t feel good to him.  Fortunately, with the Lord’s help, he was able to overcome these people, but they did pose a serious obstacle in his road.

The question is, which group do we belong to?  Are we in the group that encourages and helps others in their “good work?”  Or are we in the group that laughs, despises and scorns?  Encouragement and discouragement are the types of things that we will probably never know about in this life.  You never know how the Lord will use the least encouragement to propel someone on to do something great for Him.  You never know when a small amount of help or a kind word will bring someone back from the brink of quitting.  On the other side, you never know when a harsh or critical word might be the “straw that breaks the camel’s back.”  But God knows all of these things.

Let us always be on the side of the helpers and the encouragers!

2 responses to this post.

  1. This reminds me of something I heard at another blog . .. to err on the side of grace. 🙂 I cringe at some of the things that I have said that weren’t encouraging. 😦 Praying for Jesus to forgive me for those times and give me more chances to encourage each day. thanks Ben!


  2. That’s good advice- “err on the side of grace.” I will have to think about that one today. You know, the longer I live, the more I see the need for encouragement. It’s so easy to get discouraged. And it’s so easy to kick people while they are down, instead of trying to help them up. I think it’s human nature to want to be “better” than others. So it’s human nature to want to keep people down instead of helping them up and it’s human nature to want to drag people down who might be higher than you are. But, thankfully, Christians don’t have to be like that. God is good and will help us. Anyway- thanks for your encouragment, Deb!


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