Monday, October 10, 2011

Why You Mad at Me?

Nehemiah 4:1-2

1[a] Now when(A) Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he jeered at the Jews. 2And he said in the presence of his brothers and of the army of(B) Samaria, "What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore it for themselves?[b] Will they sacrifice? Will they finish up in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, and burned ones at that?"

The rapper T.I. had a song where he asked his haters, "Why you mad at me?!" He begins his lyrical cross examination by asking his haters, "Is it because I came from the bottom to the top? Why you mad at me?" It seems to be a universal trait for people that are in competition with you to become angry when they see you rebelling from the bottom to the top. particularly amongst oppressed groups we find it hard to celebrate the upward mobility of others because competitors feel they will lose something in your forward progress. It's unfortunate that other people get angry when you are only trying to better yourself and your community.

Nehemiah was trying to rebuild the walls that had been destroyed in Jerusalem and when Sanballat the arab heard about it he came angry and enraged. Sanballat and his friends benefited from the walls being down. They raided Jerusalem at will because there were no walls to defend the city. Whenever you build up your defense to protect your family and community, the people who previously benefited from you being 'down' will get angry with you are coming up.

Why you mad at me?!

There are five reasons why they are mad at you:

1. They are mad that you're getting stronger. A lot of times you can get your answers through their questions. What are those feeble Jews doing? They wanted the Jews to stay weak but by rebuilding the walls they were showing themselves strong. If you want to make your haters angry just keep getting stronger with progress.

2. They were mad at the restoration. Will they restore this wall? When you start restoring what was destroyed, when you start restoring community your enemies who benefited from fractured community will be angry. When restoration comes they can't take advantage of your vulnerability any longer.

3. They are mad at your sacrifices. Will they offer sacrifices? They were afraid that when these Jews reinstated their sacrifices to God, that this would jump start their favor with God again. People are afraid of your sacrifice. When you start sacrificing to God, God starts working on your behalf. Give (sacrifice) and it shall be given back to you, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will men give back to you. The founder of TOMS gives away 2 million shoes to needy children every year. He started his business by sacrificing one pair of shoes for every pair he sold. He said in his book, Start Something that Matters, "the quest for success is not the same as the quest for status and money. The definition has broadened to include contributing something to the world and living and working on one's own terms."

4. They are mad because you are about to finish. Will they finish in a day? Nothing makes your enemies angrier than to see you are about to finish what they said you couldn't! Finish your project. Finish your education. Finish your job and let the Haters hate! Jesus made the devil mad when he was hanging on the cross and said, "it is finished!"

5. They are mad because you just did the impossible. Can they bring the stones back to life from the heaps of rubble burned as they are? What is impossible with men is possible with God. If you are doing something you can accomplish with your own resources it's not a God sized project. If you really want to make your enemies mad step out on faith and rebuild something that they said couldn't be done but make sure God told you to do it. Nehemiah had a vision from God to rebuild the walls in Jerusalem. He had favor from the King who gave him the resources to rebuild. When you do it for the right reasons God will give you the resources to do the impossible. If it's his will it's his bill!

Dear God,

Thank you for not letting me listen to my haters. I have too much work to do to let them stop me from finishing. You called me to it and because of our sacrifices you'll see us through it. Bless the work of our hands and see the walls rebuilt. Send restoration and favor. Today, help us to focus on the work and not the words of our haters. Let our work speak for us!

In Jesus Name,

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