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The Threat from Within

By Greg Laurie

About this time some of the men and their wives raised a cry of protest against their fellow Jews. 

Nehemiah 5:1

Benjamin Franklin, at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, remarked to the other founding fathers, “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Franklin knew the greatest threat to the new nation called the United States of America was not the British coming from the outside; it was division and internal strife coming from the inside.

This is what was happening as Nehemiah and the people of Judah rebuilt Jerusalem’s walls: “About this time some of the men and their wives raised a cry of protest against their fellow Jews. They were saying, ‘We have such large families. We need more food to survive’” (Nehemiah 5:1–2 NLT).

These people had left Babylon at great sacrifice. They weren’t builders. They were just people who saw a job that needed to be done, and they wanted to do something about it.

However, they were being taken advantage of by their own spiritual family, their fellow Jews. To make matters worse, there was a famine, and these people were paying insanely high-interest rates to their greedy relatives.

I’ve come to know that some people who claim they are Christians don’t behave as Christians. It is hard for me to believe they are followers of Christ. They profess faith in Him, but sometimes I wonder.

If the devil can’t succeed in attacking from the outside, he will try attacking from the inside. Instead of conquering and destroying, he will divide and conquer.

Discouragement often happens when a project, plan, or relationship isn’t going the way we want it to go. And when we take our eyes off the Lord, we will get discouraged. There will be times when we’re misunderstood, misrepresented, and unappreciated. So when you’re feeling discouraged, put your eyes on the Lord.


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