But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and made fun of us. “What are you doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?”
“The God of heaven will give us success!” I replied. “As God’s servants, we will start building. But you will have no share, right, or claim in Jerusalem.”
The territories around Jerusalem had become accustomed to seeing a weak and poor city-state struggling to provide for its people. To see this tiny nation attempting to put up walls like they were once again a big military power was comical. But it wasn’t the surrounding territories who mocked Nehemiah-- it was his own people. Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem are Jewish names. They were most likely Jewish citizens from the priestly class who looked at Nehemiah’s work and scoffed. Nehemiah wisely responds that though they may be Jewish by birth and legal citizens, they will have no claim, no heritage within God’s city.
It is often the people closest to us who resist change in us and in our lives, even when we’re following God’s will. Are there any relationships in your life that inhibit you from living the life God has called you to lead? What boundaries do you need to create?