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June 5 – Troublemakers 

“But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?”” – Nehemiah 2:19

Scripture reading: Nehemiah 2:9-10,17-20

Repairing and rebuilding the wall is hard enough without opposition, accusation and mockery. This is true also in the Christian life: it is hard enough to be fighting sin and temptation, to be thankfully and humbly serving the Lord when there is no opposition. But it will come. You turn away from selfish desires and people say, “Why beat yourself up, it does no good.” Or if you are striving to be patient with a difficult person, people might tell you, “You are a fool to even try.” We live in a time when the world says we are better off ignoring God than following God.

Today, we meet people who don’t mind the church as long as she is insignificant and does nothing. You might have friends who don’t mind that you are a Christian as long as your Christianity is meaningless. Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshom at worst hated Israel and at best hated Israel for being a holy nation. They wanted Israel to be owned and swallowed up by the other nations. Today people want the church to be swallowed up by the world and live by the ways of the world, and the Christian to be swallowed up by sin, living for the idols the world lives for.

In these times we need to know Christ has come to us and is with us for a good reason. The whole world might stand against us, but when we are doing the work of God and serving His Kingdom, we will not be put to shame.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask the Lord to strengthen you with His presence and to fix your eyes on His will so that you can serve the Lord faithfully even as you face opposition.

Rev. Simon Lievaart currently serves Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. Prior to this, he served the United Reformed Church in Doon, IA. Rev. Lievaart grew up in southern Alberta, attended Redeemer University College and Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at

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