building the wall

September 30, 2016

Image result for pictures of building a wall

Part one of the tactics of the enemy from our Thursday study of Nehemiah.

Even though we covered at great length the topic of spiritual warfare it is a part of our study on Nehemiah so we will give it some coverage in this regard.

“When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates— Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.” But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer. Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter…”
Nehemiah 6

What are common tactics that the enemy uses to hinder the work of God?

In this story, the Jews have been living in Israel without walls around the city of Jerusalem. Because they rebelled against God during the reign of the kings, the Lord judged them and sent them to exile in Babylon. After 70 years in exile, small remnants started to return to the land of Israel. In chapter 1, the Lord stirred Nehemiah, a man serving under the king of Persia, to come back to Jerusalem and inspire the remnant to rebuild the wall of the capital city and to help restore the worship of Israel.

In chapter 6, Nehemiah had completed the walls but had not added the gates. Because of the progress and the certainty of completion, the attacks of the enemy increased.

From the beginning of this restoration project, Nehemiah and the Israelites had enemies trying to stop the work. Sanballat and other Samaritans had been trying to discourage Israel. In chapter 2, they became angry and incensed that somebody had come to “promote the welfare of the Israelites” (2:10). In chapter 4, when Israel began to build, they mocked them saying that even if a fox went on the wall it would fall (4:10). However, when they saw that the building of the wall was progressing, they decided to secretly form an army and come against Israel (Neh 4:8). When Nehemiah heard about this, he warned Israel and set up guards to fight in case of invasion. The building continued as they worked with a brick in one hand and a weapon in the other (Neh 4:17), and now all that remained was adding the gates (6:1).

Because of this, the enemies of Israel make one last major assault, specifically targeting Nehemiah. If they can stop Nehemiah, they can discourage the people and finally stop this work. This is important for us to see and consider.

The contents of this chapter, I believe, apply specifically to the spiritual warfare of a believer and especially to leaders. In Ephesians 6, we are called to prepare for this warfare. Paul said, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).

Some commentators have said we always live in “the evil day,” the time between Christ’s first and second coming in which we are always under the attack of Satan. However, Paul is clearly referring to times when the enemy increases assaults for the purpose of discouraging God’s people and hindering his work. He said “when the day of evil comes.” We mentioned this briefly in chapter 4.

I think we get a picture of the evil day when Satan attacks Job. He loses his family, his wealth, and his health, all in a very short time period. There is an all-out attack on Job that he must stand against. Similarly, here in chapter 6, we see many different types of attacks that the enemy brings against Nehemiah. Nehemiah is going through an “evil day,” an evil season of assault on his life and ministry.

We also are called to do the work of the Lord. You may be a student, a teacher, a businessman, or a mom, but you should not be mistaken, you are doing the Lord’s work. Nehemiah’s building of the wall wasn’t preaching the gospel, but it was something that everybody eventually realized was “accomplished by God” (Neh 6:16). It was a work of the Lord. In the same way, when we are doing the will of the Lord, wherever he has called us, we are working for him and, therefore, will incur the attacks of the enemy in various forms.

How do we prepare for the attacks, and how do we defeat these attacks?

Yes, we must put on the armor of God, which is primarily a righteous life. But along with that, we must be aware of the enemy’s tactics. Satan wants to immobilize us and keep us from progressing in our spiritual lives, and therefore, he will come with many different attacks. He wants to keep us from building and completing the work that God has called us to. Because our enemy is both wise and relentless, we must be aware of his tricks and schemes. Second Corinthians 2:11 says this: “in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”

One of the reasons many Christians become immobilized and ineffective in their callings is because they are unaware of the enemy’s tactics. We will see many of these tactics as we study this text. This will be especially important for those in leadership roles just as Nehemiah was. If Satan had one bullet, he would take out the leader because it would affect more people.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Please address all prayer requests, comments and questions to the email address above.

We usually have a bible quiz for our bible give away, in these last days of September no quiz, just if you need a bible drop us an email and we will see that you get one. Blessings

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