Mockers--Ancient and Modern

“But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.” (Nehemiah 4:1)

The art of mocking God and His people has changed little through the ages. The pagan enemies that surrounded the Jews as they were trying to rebuild Jerusalem 400 years before Christ tried various means to defeat them—essentially the same devices used by God’s enemies today.

They tried political and sociological means, after their efforts at infiltration failed, but these also failed (see Ezra 5:6, 17; 6:6-7; 9:1; 10:11-12). Then, when Nehemiah actually began work on the city’s wall, they tried discouragement by ridicule (Nehemiah 2:19; 4:1-3), by threat of violence (4:7-8), and by attempted treachery (6:2).

Likewise, the enemies of God’s Word and God’s plan today are trying all these devices in a modern format. They use political means (such as the ACLU), compromising infiltration (liberal teachers in once-sound Christian schools), and even persecution (as in communist countries).

The strategy of “mocking” is often especially effective against Christians in education, science, or other professional fields. Such people place a high premium on peer recognition and thus are sensitive to snide remarks about the Bible. Thus, when, in the words of 2 Peter 3:4, latter-day scoffers come saying: “Where is the promise of his coming? . . . all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (which is essentially a denial of God and creation), there is great pressure to tacitly agree with the scoffers, and many Christians will seek some compromise.

But Nehemiah did not compromise, and neither should we. The Bible says that those who ridicule God’s Word are “willingly ignorant” (2 Peter 3:5), and there is no need to pander to willful ignorance of God’s invulnerable truth. HMM

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