NEHEMIAH - Chapter 4 - "God Shall Fight For Us" Print E-mail

NEHEMIAH – Chapter 4- “God Shall Fight For Us”

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

March 8, 2016, the Year of Our Lord

 

As I prepared this study, I was reminded again of how predictable Satan’s tactics are against the work of the Kingdom of God.

 

  1. First attack will be from outside – ridicule, mockery, naysayers, etc.(Vs. 1-2)
  2. Then an attack from within always the first to be hit is the Praise and Worship (Judah) (Vs. 10).
  3. Families (Vs. 12-14)
  4. Finances (chapter 5)

 

We can also apply this principle to the present attack by the Republican and Democrat  establishment against “We the people.” 

 

FIRST ATTACK:

 

 The open attack was with a barrage of words.  It is the enemy’s oldest weapon, and in the form of ridicule it needs no factual ammunition.  So first was mockery.  The problem of ridicule was met by prayer, and persistence.

 

 Anger, indignation, mockery, and disdain toward the work were countered by Nehemiah’s confident prayer in the realization that their enemies had provoked the anger of God.  A conspiracy to hinder the work was met by the prayer of Nehemiah as he watched against the enemy.  The threatening by surprise

Attack was met by organizing defense, prayer and trust in God.

 

….Verse 9: Nevertheless we made out prayer to our God, and set a watch against them day and night because of them.”

 

 

4: 1-2: “When Sanballat heard that we built the wall, he was angry and took great indignation and mocked the Jews.  He spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said,

 ‘What do these feeble Jews? 

Will they fortify themselves? 

Will they sacrifice? 

Will they make quit after one day? 

Will they revive the stones out of the heap of the rubbish which are burned?’

Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down the stone wall.”

 

The words stung; but they did not produce a quiver of indecision; only indignation.  Rage and ridicule can be poor partners.  A dismissive taunt needs coolness to be really crushing.  Sanballat’s anger showed that he not “cool”.  The Jews met the problem of ridicule with prayer and persistence.

 

Sanballat’s tactics were to create doubt in five dimensions.

  1. They are few and weak.
  2. Are they able to defend themselves?
  3. Will they sacrifice?
  4. Will they be persistent or quit on the first bad day?
  5. Will they revive those who have been burned?

 

The carnal mind says the wall isn’t durable (it won’t last). 

 

 Neh. 4:4-6:  “Hear O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: and cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before you; for they have provoked you to anger before the builders.  So we built the wall; and all the wall was jointed together to the half thereof for the people had a mind to work.”

 

Sunday evening we shared a beautiful scripture of a promise and that our expectations and hope will be rewarded. 

 

Prov. 24:5: “My son, eat honey because it is good; and the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste; so shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto your soul; when you have found it, then there shall be a reward, and your expectation (hope) shall not be cut off.”

 

The spirit of knowledge is one of the seven spirits of God.  This is the revelation of the ways of the Lord.  This knowledge and subsequent reward is a result of a personal relationship with the Lord.

 

The answer to these five questions is “YES”:

We will fortify ourselves! 

We will sacrifice and enrich ourselves by giving.

We will complete our commission.

 

 Sanballat and company are dwarfed by the FAITH of verse 6.  “The people had a mind to work

 

SECOND ATTACK – The Conspiracy:

 

 4:7-8:  “It came to pass, when Sanballat, Tobiah, Arabians, Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard the walls of Jerusalem were made up The Ashdodites (Philistines from the west) joined in.  The breaches began to be stopped, and then they were very angry.  They conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.” 

 

This same spirit of conspiracy is going on in the political systems of the United States which affects the political systems of the world and certainly the Middle East.  The world is watching our election process.  The Lord is watching His Church.  There is nothing going on in the world and/or the Church that the eye of the Lord does not see.

 

Nehemiah dealt promptly with potential problems.  In his method there was neither their foolish independence of God nor foolhardy neglect of human responsibility. 

 

4:9: “Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.”

 

THIRD ATTACK: ---From Within:

 

Then the enemy strikes from within.  This is a principle of the pattern of Satan and his wiles to destroy the work of the Kingdom of God.

 

First the attack comes from without.

Then the next attack will be from within.

I have experienced this in every church the Lord has had me pastor.

 

The enemy from within was the weariness and discouragement of the workers on the wall. 

 

4: 10-11: “Judah said, the strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.  Our adversaries said, they shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.”

 

Judah means praise ---- Do you see the pattern here of how Satan works ---every time?  The Praise and worship will be the first to be attacked.  There are growing misgivings and unnerving rumors within the company.  This is a common problem.  They get tired of finding the stones (Evangelism), cleaning and restoring the stones (Pastor and Teacher), placing and setting the stones (Apostle and Prophet).

 

The adversaries (Satan and his demons) then plan their surprise attack.  Their plan is to cause the work to cease.  I read some place that 1500 ministries and/or ministers cease to be every month.  This is Satan’s strategy.  He never changes his strategy.  Judah (praise and worship) is always the first to come under attack.

 

FOURTH ATTACK – Families:

 

4: 12-14: “It came to pass, when the Jews who dwelt by them came, they said to us ten times, from all places where you shall return to us, they will be upon you.  Therefore I set in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher place, the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.  I looked, rose up, and said to the nobles, rulers and rest of the people, do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord which is great and terrible.  Fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.”

 

The neighboring Jews (probably families and friends of all the workers) said ten times “They are coming after us”.  The trouble seems to be coming from every direction and all at once (the enemy’s ploy to intimidate and discourage).  Selfishness and probably jealousy in their families objected to them working on the wall.  The taunts became threats.  The open enemy said, “We will stop it!”  The depressed worker said, “We are not able to finish the wall!”  The half-hearted workers (with family, friends) said, “Success is impossible!”

 

4: 15-18: “It came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and God had brought their counsel to naught, we all returned to the wall and every one to his work.  It came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants labored in the work.  The other half held both the spears, shields, bows, and the breastplates.  The rulers were behind all the house of Judah.  They who built on the wall and they who bare burdens, every one with one of his hands labored in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.  Every one had his sword by his side and continued to build.  He that sounded the trumpet was by me.”

 

The sounding of the trumpet is the principle of the prophetic Word of God.

 

Nehemiah countered these opposing forces by showing the people how to be free from the entrapment of the enemy.  Nehemiah sat with his troops in the lower places in the wall, and set the people on the higher places (where the wall was strong).

 

The word of Nehemiah was “Do not be afraid of them, remember the Lord…and fight for your families.” 

 

Note the Pastor’s role:

 

  1. 4:13 – Placement --- “I even set the people.”
  2. 4:14 -  “Be not afraid.”
  3. 4:15 – Involvement --- “We returned…everyone unto his work.”
  4. 4:16 – Body ministry (half…and…half)
  5. 4:17-20 –Hearing the Word of the Lord ---the sound of the trumpet.

 

The rulers were behind Judah to encourage and help if needed.  Some set the stones, some carried the stones, some loaded the stones; but all worked with one hand and with the other hand held a weapon.  The builders all carried a sword.

 

4: 19-20:  I said to the nobles, the rulers, and the people, the work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another.  In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet rally to us there; our God shall fight for us.”

 

All Christian laborers and ministers, if you are in the place where God sent you to labor, doing what God called you to do, God will fight for you.  Just be sure you have it right with God.

 

This should be the attitude of all ministries.  Don’t get hung up on your part of the Wall (your ministry, your gifts).  All of it is important.  Flow to where the need is.  This is the flow of ministry. 

 

4:21-23: “So we labored in the work; and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared.  Likewise at the same time I said to the people, let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem.  In the night they may be a guard to us, and labor in the day.  Neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me; none of us put off our clothes except to be washed.”

 

Nehemiah told them to stop trafficking with the world and to live in the city with provision and protection.  Get in a local church.   The “men of the guard” followed Nehemiah.  The “guard” would be the Persian guard given to him by the Persian king.

 

  None of us put off (clothed in Christ); each man went with his weapon of warfare and his water (the Word). 

 

We overcome the enemy by: confronting fear by remembering the Lord.  Keep going forward (work progressed in spite of threats).  Align yourself with praise.  Align yourself with prophets.  Take the Word by your side (prepared for conflict).  Keep an ear to the Holy Spirit.  Keep clean.  Wash your garments in the Blood of the Lamb

 

Chapter 5 is the FIFTH ATTACK and is the principle of opposition to the rebuilding from within.  There was a natural tendency to argue that too much money was being spent on Nehemiah’s project.  This problem of internal greed and covetousness has a remedy in restitution, reinforced by Nehemiah’s personal example of unselfishness during his term as the Governor.

 

Satan never changes his tactics.  He is counting on Christians to be led by the carnal mind, never read and study the Word, and not be led by the Holy Spirit.

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church 

 
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