Daily Devotions

Upsetting the Status Quo

Sanballat represents those who misrepresent change.  Sanballat is the “accuser of the brethren.” Nehemiah was doing great. He had a mandate from God. Changes had to be made in order to stay in alignment with that mandate. It didn’t make Nehemiah popular but at least he was obedient to God. Not only did Nehemiah have to labor under the stress of wall-building, he was also dealing with false accusations. Just as the new changes were really making a difference, Sanballat begins to point the bony finger and yell, “Rebellion!” (Neh 2:19). The changes were building up the wall and filling in the gap that left the Israelites exposed to the enemy but the good changes were misrepresented and called “rebellion against the king.” They were called rebellious against the present order of things. For those who are the guardians of “status quo,” any change is considered rebellion. Those who change what has been done redundantly for years or decades are called rebellious. Since no one wants the label “rebellious” and since there are such severe warnings in the Bible for those who are “rebellious,” that name-calling becomes an ominous intimidation. The implication is, “Back off or you will suffer the consequences of rebellion.”

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