Spiritual Warfare: Battling the Opposition – Nehemiah Rebuilds a City

The ArmorIn continuation of the Old Testament character series, Pastor David gave a phenomenal, prophetic message from Nehemiah Chapters 4-6. The background is Nehemiah was on the journey of rebuilding the walls of the city and was met with fierce opposition. In each trial, Nehemiah countered the opposition with Godly character.

The Opposition
• Ridicule (4:1-3): “…What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore it for themselves?…”
The Response
• Cry (4:4-5): “Hear, O our God, how we (you God and we your people) are despised! Return their reproach on their own heads…”
The Opposition
• Threats (4:7-8): “Now when they heard that the repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches began to be closed, they were very angry. All of them conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance.”
The Response
• Cry & Bear Arms (4:9, 13): “But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night…then I stationed men in the lowest parts of space behind the wall,…I stationed the people in families with their swords, spears and bows.”
The Opposition
• Discouragement (4:10-12): “…The strength of the burden bearers is failing…”
The Response
• Encouragement (4:14): “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, yours sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.”
The Opposition
• Financial (5:1-5): “…We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our houses…we have borrowed money…we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves…”
The Response
• Cry (5:19): “Remember me, O my God…”
The Opposition
• Trickery (6:1-4): “They sent a message to me, saying “Come let us meet together at Chephirim in the plain of Ono”. But they were planning to harm me. So I sent messengers to them saying “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” They sent messages to me four times in this manner, and I answered them in the same way.”
The Response
• Stayed on task (6:3)
The Opposition
• Slander (6:5-7): “It is reported among the nations, and Gashmu says, that you and the Jews are planning to rebel; therefore you are rebuilding the wall. And you are to be their king, according to these reports.”
The Response
• Call for courage (6:9): “For all of them were trying to frighten us, thinking, They will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done. But now, O God, STRENGTHEN MY HANDS.”
The Opposition
• Counterfeit counsel (6:10): “Let us meet together in the house of God…for they are coming to kill you, and they are coming to kill you at night.”
The Response
• Discernment & Cry (6:12-14): “Then I perceived that surely God had not sent him. He was hired for this reason, that I might become frightened and act accordingly and sin, so that they might have an evil report in order that they could reproach me. Remember, O my God, them according to these works of theirs, and also the (false) prophetess and the rest of the (false) prophets who were trying to frighten me.”

Summary:
Nehemiah was commissioned by God to do a particular work. He kept his mind on the task at hand in spite of repeated, mounting opposition. He was ridiculed, threatened, discouraged, financially bound, tricked, slandered, and given false counsel but still pressed on. He called upon God throughout the various trials and trusted in God’s ability to guard him and see the task finished. Nehemiah demonstrated enduring character and trust in God, inspiring us to also endure the various trials and trust in God’s ability to see the task he has given you completed. If God gave you the task to begin, God will give you the tools to finish it. Amen

• “So the wall was completed on the twenty fifth of the month Elul, in fifty two days. When all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations surrounding us saw it, they lost their confidence; for they recognized that this work has been accomplished with the help of our God.” Nehemiah 6:15-16

• There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD. Psalm 21:30

Resource Credit: Pastor David Smith

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