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  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

A Cause Larger Than Me

“Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your kin, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.” [1]

Having a cause larger than your self will always inspire persistence – even when life is complicated. Nehemiah understands this.

Faced with the daunting challenge of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, Nehemiah’s team is immediately bullied by neighboring countries.

Encouraged by Sanballat, a leader of Samaritan forces, and reinforced by Tobiah of the Ammonites, these leaders launch a schoolyard campaign of trash talk intended to demoralize Nehemiah and his team (Neh. Chapter 4).

Nehemiah is quick to recognize the bullying tactics intended to distract and disrupt the project. In prayer, Nehemiah releases his enemies to the care of God so he – and his people – can return to building the wall. Nehemiah understands:

The task before them is more critical than taunts thrown at them!

Another interesting lesson from this story is schoolyard bullying can escalate to severe threats. The psychological tactics of intimidation are not working. The wall’s reconstruction is progressing. So, the enemies of the Jews turn up the heat. They plot an assault on the workers (Neh. 4:8).

Nehemiah prays again, committing his enemies to God. However, he also takes action to protect the people and diminish the rising fear (Neh. 4:9-13).

This lesson from history reminds us:

  1. Any task worth doing will meet opposition. How we respond to ridicule is essential.

  2. When taunting turns to a threat, precaution is necessary. Your family, friends, and loved ones are worth protecting because God-inspired projects require teamwork. Together is not only better – it is essential.

  3. The antidote to fear is found when you have a cause more important than your self. Nehemiah reminds his team to remember the LORD who fights for them – and their families who are worth fighting for!

If your project is not meeting opposition, is it a task worth doing?

How are you handling the psychological intimidations of your enemy? And what about the internal taunts: “I’m not good enough. I don’t have what it takes. Others are more qualified, etc.”

What’s your fear? Where do you seem stuck or paralyzed? It may do each of us good to remember the LORD who fights for us, and to remember our cause is worth fighting for!


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), Ne 4:14.

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