He [Sanballat] ridiculed the Jews,
and in the presence of his associates
and the army of Samaria, he said,
“What are those feeble Jews doing?
Will they restore their wall?
Will they offer sacrifices?
Will they finish in a day?
Can they bring the stones back to life
from those heaps of rubble – burned as they are?”
Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at this side, said,
“What they are building – even a fox climbing up on it
would break down their wall of stones!”
Matthew starts his record of Jesus’ teaching with the Beatitudes. He ends the Beatitudes with these words:
Blessed are you when people insult you,
persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you
because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
because great is your reward in heaven,
for in the same way they persecuted the prophets
who were before you.
If you are living for Jesus, and you are being insulted, persecuted or lied about, “rejoice and be glad,” for that is how Nehemiah, and other great men and women of God were treated in the past. You are in good company!
Lord Jesus, help us follow you as our Good Shepherd, no matter where you may lead and no matter what others may say!