Last week we looked at the big picture of God’s story and Nehemiah’s part in it.

This week we look at opposition, how Nehemiah handled it and how we can too, God’s way.

Have you ever had others opposing you when you have been trying to do what God wants? How have you handled it? What has been the eventual result? Share with others in your group.

1. Opposition

Read what the following people said/experienced.

  • Nehemiah. Neh.2:10, 4:7.
  • Jesus. Mark 10:33-34, John 15:18.
  • Paul. Acts 13:44-45

2. The Origin of Opposition to God and His way’s

Read and discuss the following:

The Devil. 1Peter 5:8, Zec. 3:1; Matt. 13:38-39, 1 Peter 5:8, John 8:39-47.

The World. John 15:18-19, John 17:14; 1John 3:13, Acts 13:9-10.

The Flesh. Gal. 5:17, Matt. 26:41, Rom. 7:23.

3. God’s Perspective

As we face opposition let’s look at our situations the way God sees them and not how circumstances might seem to be dictating. What do the following tell us?

  • 2 Kings 6:15-17.
  • Job 1:6-12.
  • Neh. 4:14.
  • Romans 8:31-39.

4. Nehemiah’s Situation

Even though it was God’s will for the wall to be rebuilt, God did not remove the opposition from Nehemiah and his fellow Jews. What do you think are possible reasons for this?

Read, consider and discuss in your group George’s words on the following:

Nehemiah faced 6 attacks from those who opposed him:

  1. Neh. 2:19. The opposition used MIRTH – they laughed at what Nehemiah was doing – they made fun of him to belittle him.
  2. Neh. 4:1-3. The opposition used MOCKERY – the mockery was designed to bait Nehemiah.
  3. Neh. 4:8. The opposition used MALICE – This malice was to bully & intimidate Nehemiah.
  4. Neh. 6:1-2. The opposition used MEDIATION – this change of strategy was to distract Nehemiah. (“hey, we all really want the same thing, don’t we?”)
  5. Neh. 6:5-6. The opposition used MISINFORMATION – false accusations against Nehemiah were to incite fear.
  6. Neh. 6:10-11. The opposition used MIND-GAMES – to entice Nehemiah into a failure or fault.

How did Nehemiah approach those who opposed him?

Read, consider and discuss in your group George’s words on the following:

Nehemiah prayed to God– Neh. 4:4, 9; 6:9 &14. Nehemiah’s first reaction to opposition was to pray – Prayer kept God sovereign in his thoughts – For the Christian, prayer reminds us that God is sovereign over our enemies & over our trials.

Nehemiah worked for God – he kept at the work – he avoided becoming distracted from what God had called & commissioned him to do.

Nehemiah watched the enemy – prayer didn’t make the enemy go away – Nehemiah armed himself against his enemies for defence not for attack – Neh. 4:9, 17-20.

Nehemiah trusted God – At the outset of the opposition, Nehemiah declared, 2:20, “the God of heaven Himself will prosper us, therefore we His servants will arise & build.” – Throughout Nehemiah maintained his trust in God.

5. Our Response to Opposition

  • What result does God not want our response to bring? Consider Romans 2:24.
  • Rather what does He want? 1 Peter 2:12, 4:12-14, Phil. 2:14-15, Romans 12:17-21, Matt. 5:16.
  • How did Jesus response to being wrongly treated? 1 Peter 2:21-23.

6. Conclusion

Finish by discussing in your group George’s words about a very relevant subject in our society today:

The Gospel is a message of love & peace, which will get completely lost if a spirit of hostility is the way we engage those who oppose the Christian message. The same-sex agenda has brought Christians into conflict with the prevailing mood of Australian society. However, if you engage with the same-sex agenda in a hostile, confrontational & judgemental manner you will betray the Christian message. The Church today must find a better way than hostility & confrontation to proclaim its position & preach its message. Hostility & confrontation was not the Jesus-approach to unbelievers. In Matt 11:29, Jesus said, “learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart”.

The Christian message today must be proclaimed as a better way on issues of gender, sexuality & same-sex attraction – this better way is God’s way. God’s way for all of life-choices is the best way; which is why we commend it to others. However, commending God’s way to others must be with due respect for how others might choose differently & with grace towards such choices. This grace doesn’t withdraw from declaring God’s way, but it also doesn’t show hostility towards others, or intentionally stir hostility in others.


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Bible Study Nehemiah