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John Brown :: Nehemiah 4:11-23

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I. INTRODUCTION

A. Last week in our study of Nehemiah, we saw that no spiritual re-building can be done effectively without first removing the rubbish.

1. Sin makes a lousy foundation!

a) Pride, unbelief, anger, temper, despondence, self-importance, evil desires, are all rubbish!

2. The rubbish has to be cleared; the ROCK exposed before the re-building can begin!

a) Satan is always trying to get us to build upon the rubbish and miss the sure foundation, which is Jesus Christ!

3. This morning we will take a look at two strategies necessary for every Christian, if he is to overcome the enemy - "battling and building".

II. Neh 4:11-23 (NKJV) And our adversaries said, "They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease." 12 So it was, when the Jews who dwelt near them came, that they told us ten times, "From whatever place you turn, [they] [will] [be] upon us." 13 Therefore I positioned [men] behind the lower parts of the wall, at the openings; and I set the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14 And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses." 15 And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and [that] God had brought their plot to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work. 16 So it was, from that time on, [that] half of my servants worked at construction, while the other half held the spears, the shields, the bows, and [wore] armor; and the leaders [were] behind all the house of Judah. 17 Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. 18 Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet [was] beside me. 19 Then I said to the nobles, the rulers, and the rest of the people, "The work [is] great and extensive, and we are separated far from one another on the wall. 20 "Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us." 21 So we labored in the work, and half of [the] [men] held the spears from daybreak until the stars appeared. 22 At the same time I also said to the people, "Let each man and his servant stay at night in Jerusalem, that they may be our guard by night and a working party by day." 23 So neither I, my brethren, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me took off our clothes, [except] that everyone took them off for washing.

A. Remember in Nehe 4:6 we were told... the entire wall was joined together up to half its [height], for the people had a mind to work.

1. Well, ½ way there is always the hardest place of any work!

a) ½ way there is when the "Honeymoon" is over and the initial enthusiasm is gone.

b) The harsh reality of the costs begins to set in!

c) All of a sudden we become aware of how much bigger the job is than what we first thought!

d) It is the same with our Christian walks.

(1) There comes a time in every Christian's walk where we "become aware" of the real costs of serving the Lord.

(2) The magnitude of finishing becomes more of a focus than what has been accomplished.

(3) The enemy and his opposition becomes more real at times than does Christ whom is standing there to help us finish the work!

(4) We begin to ask ourselves, "Will I ever make it?" "Will I ever finish?"

B. I would like to give you four important points from our lesson in Nehemiah this morning - that will not only help you in battle - but will allow you to build the wall and finish the race!

1. The enemy knows the best possible time to launch a fresh attack!

a) It is usually hen we are tired, weary, and got our eyes on the 1/2 that is not built!

(1) Nehemiah's enemies started with gossip, discouragement, sarcasm, and "put-downs", but they failed.

(2) Now it is threats of a full scale, frontal attack.

(a) Nehe 4:11 (NKJV) And our adversaries said, "They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease."

(i) Notice it was planned as a "surprise attack!"

(a) "They will neither know nor see anything..."

(ii) The attack was up close and it was going to be with bloodshed!

(a) "... we (will) come into their midst and kill them..."

(iii) The enemy was very confident of his success!

(a) ".. and cause the work to cease. "

(iv) At any cost the enemy did not want the wall to go up!

(3) Please notice that it was the mixed multitude who brought the bad news.

(a) Those with marginal walks! They become the pessimists!

(b) Nehe 4:12 (NKJV) So it was, when the Jews who dwelt near them came, that they told us ten times, "From whatever place you turn, [they] [will] [be] upon us."

(c) They focused on what was yet to be done. And on the strength of the enemy.

(d) This fear that the mixed multitude started, began to spread, even among the leadership!

(i) Nehe 4:14 (NKJV) And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses."

(e) There are always some that live too close to the enemy! They see him more clearly than they see the Lord.

(i) They are the first to spread discouragement among God' s people and His work!

(ii) They are most often, the ones without zeal, the onlookers.

(iii) This type of Christianity affects the whole church.

(iv) His/her lukewarmness affects the whole spiritual temperature of the fellowship.

(f) One of the worst things we can do for our walks in Christ is to enter into service as a by-stander, instead of a participant!

2. Nehemiah and the builders were being opposed because a work for the Lord was being done!

a) Nehe 4:7 (NKJV) Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry,

(1) Whenever Satan sees a work of the Spirit, he will concentrate all his energies to stop it!

(a) Even Christ's earthly life was so much of a Spiritual work; His very presence convicted people of their sin!

(b) When a person is convicted of sin he has only two choices:

(i) #1. Get right with God or:

(ii) #2. Become an instrument of destruction in the hands of Satan.

(a) Jesus was killed!

(iii) Steven's committed life, full of the Holy Spirit had the same affect on people.

(a) Steven was also killed because he convicted people of their sin!

(2) If our lives are full of the Holy Spirit, sinful people will be very uncomfortable around us!

(a) John 15:18-20 (NKJV) "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before [it] [hated] you. 19 "If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 "Remember the word that I said to you, `A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you....

(b) As the saying goes, "Don't pray far easier lives, but that we will be stronger Christians."

3. Nehemiah looked to God as the solution!

(1) Nehe 4:14 (NKJV) And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses."

(a) All the pressure was on him. Fear permeated the camp. The enemy was closing in and breathing down his back.

(b) But, his eyes were on the Lord!

(c) Jehosaphat said the same thing in 2Chr 20:12 (NKJV) "O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes [are] upon You."

(d) There are times in our Christian walk when we can do nothing except trust and hold on!

b) But, trusting and holding on to the Lord doesn't eliminate our responsibility!

(1) Nehe 4:14b.... Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses."

(a) We must remember - everything Is at stake In this battle - brothers, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, and homes'

(b) Our walk does not just affect us.

(i) 1Pet 5:8 (NKJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

c) Nehemiah told his people to resist the enemy and keep on fighting!

(1) Nehe 4:16-17 (NKJV) So it was, from that time on, [that] half of my servants worked at construction, while the other half held the spears, the shields, the bows, and [wore] armor; and the leaders [were] behind all the house of Judah. 17 Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon.

(a) 1 /2 worked, 1 /2 watched and they all worked with a weapon in one hand and a tool in the other!

(b) Dear Christian friends, in our own lives, the battling and the building must be inseparable!

(i) Serving = active battle.

(ii) BuiIding is the personal growth.

(c) Active duty without weaponry is certain death!

4. Nehemiah kept a trumpeter by his side!

a) The rebuilding was wide spread.

b) At the sound of the trumpet they were to leave their work and gather around him.

c) At the sound of the trumpet they were to gather around their commander-in-chief to win the victory.

III. CONCLUSION

A. Satan doesn't care much about churches, church services, nor those that call themselves "Christians".

1. But, he hates a genuine Spirit directed work or life dedicated to the Lord"

2. Expect his attack when you are the most weary!

3. We should grow accustomed to his thick, black breath, breathing down our backs and even welcome it as evidence of a successful walk.

4. Always, we should look to God for the strength to build and to fight.

a) Keep a "tool" in one hand (our service) and the "sword" in the other (our devotion).

5. One day the trumpet will sound. We too will gather around the Commander-ln-Chief.

a) The enemy will be defeated, and we will enter in to His rest!

Nehemiah 4:10 ← Prior Section
Nehemiah 5 Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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