When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews,
Success attracts success. The efforts you put in order to succeed and the habits you formed, always push you further to much more success, that is why we say that success attracts success. Once you succeed genuinely, you will repeat what you did and you will succeed again. Success attracts the good and the bad!
Success also attracts hate and jealousy. If you succeed someone who perceives you as a competition or threat will not be happy. If you succeed someone somewhere even unknown to you, will feel it is unfair for you to excel while they remain stuck. Because of sin, not everyone celebrates our success. Those who dislike our success immediately become a big problem to us when we succeed. Success attracts the good and the bad!
Nehemiah in our text today, had succeeded in getting approvals to rebuild Jerusalem walls. Immediately he succeeded enemies emerged. Those who didn’t like Nehemiah as a person and those who hated the Israelites nation. Their success caused enemies to emerge. Yet their success was a good thing for the nation of Israel. Success attracts the good and the bad!
First, they were ridiculed because of their success, Nehemiah 4:1. To ridicule is to tell someone hurting words that degrade them. Success had upgraded them, but ridicule was to pour cold water on their success. Ridicule seeks to undo their joy of success. When we succeed and are happy, somebody somewhere will be used by satan to ensure we are not happy. Success attracts the good and the bad!
They were called feeble people, Nehemiah 4:1. Their work was abused as being useless and unsustainable, Nehemiah 4:3. They were despised, Nehemiah 4:4. All these because they had succeeded in being permitted to rebuild Jerusalem. When we succeed, it is a good thing, but unfortunately, that same success will attract enemies who will viciously seek to ensure that we do not proceed to further success or we do not enjoy the success. Success attracts the good and the bad!
Nehemiah and the Israelites did not stop in spite of the words and activities of their enemies. Never be stopped by enemies. Never be discouraged, but keep going. When they had another success of having done the wall halfway the Bible says their enemies became very angry, Nehemiah 4:7. Because of their success, their enemies went into committees to discuss them and plot against them, to stop their success and work, Nehemiah 4:8. Success attracts the good and the bad!
When you succeed in anything and then you succeed further, satan will cause some people to be angry, very angry. People whose business has nothing to discuss you will discuss you. People who know nothing about you will talk about you. People will plot against you. They will do things to cause you to make a mistake so that they harm you. Enemies of Israel plotted against Israel. When Israel was captive no one bothered, but when they succeeded, people arose in anger and plotted against them. Success attracts the good and the bad!
Nehemiah 4:10-12 tells us that the more they succeeded the more the threats came. This time even Jews who were on the enemy’s side, now delivered the threats. Threats are supposed to put fear in us and stop us. Do not yield to threats and stop. Keep going in Jesus’ name. Even when those who should be friendly now join enemies in delivering threats to you, do not yield, ignore them and move on. Success attracts the good and the bad!
So how did they survive under the hostility that their success brought? They were serving God but the hostility was real and ferocious. Nehemiah 4:4-5 tells us they prayed. In that prayer, they vented their anger in prayer. They told God how they felt. Do not respond to your enemies, tell it to Jesus. If you are angry tell Jesus. If you want your enemies dead, tell it to Jesus. Jesus can handle it. Tell it in prayer. If you tell your enemies, they will sue you and use it against you, just tell Jesus in prayer. Success attracts the good and the bad!
When enemies plotted against Israel and they did not know what to do, they prayed, Nehemiah 4:8-9. When enemies plot against you, do not go seeking what they are planning, that will intensify your fear, just pray. They did not just pray they also posted a guard to protect them. After prayer and during prayer do what is within your power to protect yourself from harm. Do what you must do to be safe as you pray. Success attracts the good and the bad!
When success attracts the worst, we should not stop, but pray about it and do what we must do to keep safe. Do not fear success because of what it attracts. It is the reality of a sinful world, but safety from God is equally real. May you be successful, resilient, wise, prayerful, and unstoppable in Jesus’ name, Amen!
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