Rising Above Ridicule

risingaboveJust in case we ever forget – which I’m sure we do not – the election cycle is certain to remind us of the power of ridicule. Every year the name calling and rhetorical slander gets worse and worse.

What astounds me, is how often two politicians can go head-to-head with each other, throwing some of the most abusive verbal mud-balls imaginable, and then end up supporting each other, or even running together, a few months later. It’s like a really bad version of Jerry Springer marries Oprah. With all the attention on bullying these days, you would think that these middle-aged and older “leaders” would grow-up.

Ridicule is a real problem that robs people of dignity and honor. Unchecked, it can sap our strength and leave us unproductive. Nehemiah faced this problem head-on when he set out to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem around 444 BC. Although we don’t know exactly why, leaders in the area did not want Nehemiah to succeed. Perhaps they were jealous of the favor he had with the King, or maybe they felt threatened.

Whatever the case, these leaders assaulted Nehemiah and the workers with a number of verbal threats including ridicule. They mocked the builders and their skill saying that they were wasting their time and that the wall they were building wouldn’t even stand against a fox. The enemy taunted God’s people with speeches about the hopelessness of the work and the ineptness of the workers. Insults were hurled at them unrelentingly.

Nehemiah was a wise leader. I’m certain that he had read Psalms 154:14 many times, “The LORD sustains all who fall and raises up all who are bowed down.” He knew that his only hope for overcoming the ridicule of the enemy and succeeding at the task in front of him was to let God fight the battle for him. He rested in the knowledge that God had assigned and provisioned the mission. With that endorsement, there was no way he could fail unless he gave up – and THAT just wasn’t going to happen.

Nehemiah encouraged his workers with the promises of the Great and Mighty God and pressed on. Although he faced many more challenges, he and his team were able to complete the work of rebuilding the entire city wall and it’s twelve great gates in only 52 days. The wall became a buffer against the enemies of God and a testimony that God’s Word is far greater than those of mere men.

If you are being ridiculed, tune out those voice and tune into God. “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:6)

Keep Pressing for the Blessing,

– Rodney

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