But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews. And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish—stones that are burned?”

Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall.”

Hear, O our God, for we are despised; turn their reproach on their own heads, and give them as plunder to a land of captivity! Do not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You; for they have provoked You to anger before the builders.

So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work. Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night. (Nehemiah 4:1-9)

Any noble work will always draw individuals that wish to attack and discourage. As you begin to build something… anything… those that never accomplish anything will come out of the woodwork and begin to mock and ridicule the work that you have undertaken. The mockery is even greater when the work is undertaken on behalf of God.

The goal of mockery is to discourage someone or a group in the completion of their work. The mockers are sowing seeds of doubt. They want you to lose hope in the ability to complete the work that you have begun. Or they want you to begin to doubt the purpose behind the work. In Nehemiah, Sanballat and Tobiah want to discourage the Jews from rebuilding the wall. They use name calling… “feeble Jews”. They mock… “Will they offer sacrifices?” The plant doubt as to the quality if the work… “if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall.” The insinuation is that the Jews are not fit to build a wall that can serve to protect the city.

The work that Nehemiah and the Jews had undertaken was a work that God had called them to complete. Their faith was not based in their own skills, abilities, or even their own plant. They had faith in God to complete the work of rebuilding the wall. They were simply the laborers chosen to carry out the work. The efforts to discourage the Jews in their work was unsuccessful simply because they were servants carrying out God’s work. The work that Sanballat and Tobiah were mocking was God’s work. The Jews recognized this fact and left this battle to be fought by God. Look again at their prayer to God…

Hear, O our God, for we are despised; turn their reproach on their own heads, and give them as plunder to a land of captivity! Do not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You; for they have provoked You to anger before the builders.

This prayer should be a model for our prayers today as we are mocked for clinging to the traditional american values that this country was founded upon… God, family, and country. All three of these are under attack in America today. Being despised by those that hate God, hate America and desire to destroy the family is not a bad thing. Don’t be discouraged by this attack. Let it serve as a reminder of who you serve.

Jesus taught the disciples…

If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.

(John 15:18 NLT)