My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetress Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear. (Nehemiah 6:14)
Betrayal is a part of the Christian’s life, but the wound is even deeper when it comes from the hand of a friend. This is nothing new nor should it surprise us. Betrayal was the experience of:
- Abel with Cain
- Job with his friends
- Moses with Aaron and Miriam
- David and Absolom
- Jesus with Judas
- Paul with Hymenaeus and Alexander
The Bible is filled with reminders such as these, but the experience is still painful. When Betrayal occurs it is always shocking and heartbreaking. We are tempted at these times to flee or retaliate, but in each case that was not how the problem was handled.
If Nehemiah had fled or retaliated in fear, he would have destroyed his testimony and undermined the courage he was trying to instill in God’s people. Leaders are always under personal attacks and temptations so it is only natural that we experience fear. It takes a God-given courage to overcome our natural tendencies. When you are faced with fear because of opposition from within or without, the best solution – the only solution – is turn the problem over to God.