Opposition from Enemies
Book of Nehemiah Chapters 4 thru 6
The one thing we will always see as we are involved in the work of the Lord is, we will always be opposed by those in the world! Persecution is a fact of life for those who are believers and follow the Lord Jesus Christ!
Most of the younger generation have never heard of the Ten Commandments but that does not mean they are free to live as they want to.
This next generation has been led to be against anything that is good, because it carries with it a high price and they are only interested in things that are free, when nothing in this life is free!
None of these things change what the Lord has given His followers to do!
Nehemiah had returned to Jerusalem with the blessings of King Artaxerxes but the king was 900 miles away and did not realize how the enemies of Israel would act.
The spirit of antisemitism flowed heavily through those nations that surrounded Israel just as it does today!
This comes because these Jews served Jehovah God, who requires obedience and who rejects sin!
God was beginning again to show favoritism to the Hebrew children and the neighboring nations wanted to stop anything they did!
*****Neh 4:1 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.
Before we see who this Sanballat is lets see who Eliashib is.
Eliashib was the high priest at that time, he did assist in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem but only that portion that connected to his house.
The truth is he and his family sided with the enemies of Israel.
Neh_13:4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:
Neh_13:7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.
Neh_13:28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.
Tobiah was an Ammonite and a Gentile and a partner to Sanballat but married into the Jewish family of the High Priest.
Sanballat was a Moabite but his daughter was married to the son of Eliashib and would also be a priest of Israel, and what did God say?
Neh_13:1 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God “for ever”;
We should remember Gentiles could not enter into the Temple grounds.
Sanballat was a high ranking official of Samaria and would have been much better off trying to make Samaria a proud nation but he wasted his time seeking the destruction of Israel.
*****Neh 4:2 And he spake 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 an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?
When we see those who have a sickening hatred of the Jews today, we can know it is hereditary and is from a long history.
These that have hated the Jews have seen what Jehovah has done for this tiny nation, but they have also seen how God has loved them and the prophecies of them, yet they have no fear of God and it will cost them dearly in the end.
Gen_12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
This world of today is just like the those of the day of Nehemiah, and should be trying to get the blessings of God instead of the cursing of God!
Those who hate Israel will see complete destruction less they repent!
It had taken many years by great kings for the walls of Jerusalem to be built, no one could believe that these ordinary people could accomplish what Nehemiah had encouraged them to do.
When we seek God’s blessings, we can accomplish great things because He is always willing to help!
Now we see that Tobiah was also an enemy of Israel even though he was also in the family of the high priest.
*****Neh 4:3 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 their stone wall.
One of the first things people filled with hatred will do is to mock those they hate!
Tobiah was an enemy of the Jews but was married into a Jewish priestly family.
He actually had a room in the Temple that was reserved for the priest. This went against the Laws of Moses.
It was a mockery to the laws of God!
Remember the Jews wanted Titus stoned to death because they thought Paul had allowed him into the Temple
His son Johanan was married to Meshullam the daughter of another high-ranking Jew. They were also linked to Sanballat in causing problems for Nehemiah in rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.
These two Jews and their families did not approve of what Nehemiah was trying to do.
The Samaritans and the Jews were already enemies, and these things just made the Jews hate them even more, so that by the time of our Lord Jesus, the Jews would not even walk through the nation of Samaria.
They mock and threatened the people of Jerusalem trying to stop the construction of the walls of the city.
Neh 13:4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:
Neh 13:5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.
Neh 13:6 But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king:
Neh 13:7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.
Neh 13:8 And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.
Neh 13:9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.
Neh 13:10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.
Neh 13:11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.
Nehemiah prayed to the Lord against these evil men.
*****Neh 4:4 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:
Neh 4:5 And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.
What is the strategy of the devil? Mockery, Scorn, Insult, Making fun of, Taunting, Ridicule, among other things in an attempt to cause us to give up the work of the Lord.
So many who begin a work for the Lord, fall into this trap and become dishearten and will just quit on the Lord.
So, what is an imprecatory prayer? It is a prayer that is prayed for some evil to fall upon an enemy.
Psa 5:10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.
Psa 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
Psa 5:12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
This prayer is for those who are wicked, reap exactly what they sow!
Without repentance this is exactly what will happen because this is truth of the Word of God for us all!
Job_4:8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.
We must understand that God will execute justice on all those who reject Him.
This one thing is hated by all those who are lost! They cannot stand anyone who will not allow them to do as they please!
Those who reject us, as we seek to do the work of the Lord, are not rejecting us they are rejecting God!
Nehemiah was not praying for emotional vengeance, Nehemiah was praying for God to deliver His people from these wicked people!
This is the only way this prayer should ever be prayed, for our deliverance from evil!
Jesus Christ gave us this example.
Mat 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, “but deliver us from evil”: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen
What is perseverance?
1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1Pe 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Perseverance is when we know we are kept by the power of God till He takes us home, and we just need to keep going with the work God has given us to do, no matter what opposition we face!
What did Nehemiah and those with him do? They continued to build the wall ignoring the threats of this enemy.
*****Neh 4:6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
What does it take to do a work for the Lord?
We need a mind for the work!
What is earnestness? We could say that earnestness is an intense desire to please the Lord.
Earnestness is a zeal to accomplish what we set out to do for the Lord!
What is the truth of this world? Our world is full of Sanballats!
All the Sanballats are not dead yet, in fact there may be more now than there have ever been!
When we criticize the work of the Lord, we have become a Sanballat ourselves!
Sanballats stand up and say, “we as Christians are not able”.
Sanballats offer active opposition even when the work of the Lord is going on.
Sanballats even cause despair to their friends who are involved in a work of the Lord.
Sanballats refuse to pray for certain works of the Lord to succeed!
How are we to react to Sanballats?
We are to work together to succeed.
We must be willing to strive for success.
We must pray to the lord for His help.
We must set our minds to the work.
We must have a courageous trust in the Lord!
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
When the Sanballats of the world have been ignored and that work is near completion, then we as Christians must be prepared for a frontal attack!
*****Neh 4:10 And 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.
Neh 4:11 And 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.
The truth is, the more we know about our enemies, the better we can resist them.
What does the Holy Spirit say?
Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
We must always understand, we will never have the strength to stand against this evil world alone, we must have with us, the Power of God!
Praying and standing guard are the very first things we must do to protect against the enemy’s attack!
We must understand that the enemy cannot take away our salvation, so we should know that our enemies want to ruin our testimony, and stop or hinder any progress we may have in our ministry for the Lord.
Knowing these things, then we know what to prepare for!
Satan is a persistent foe, but he is also already a loser, so we must understand a wounded lion is still a very dangerous enemy.
1Pe_5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
We must never forget we are in a war!
*****Neh 4:14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
Neh 4:15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.
We should get one thing very clear as we approach the Rapture and the Second Coming of the Lord.
We will have to fight for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We will have to fight for our sons and daughters.
We will have to fight for our spouses.
We will have to fight for our homes.
We will even have to fight to keep our nation, remembering our true home is in Heaven.
The war with Satan and his followers is getting closer every day. In fact it has been going on since the time of Christ!
When these things are firm in our minds, then we can continue on with the work of the Lord because He wants us to succeed!
If we are too scared to fight then that fear did not come from the Lord!
2Ti_1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
We cannot allow the works of Satan and those rulers in high places, to cause us to fear for our lives because our lives are already in the hand of the Lord!
It is well that we should know our enemies then we can better resist them!
We must understand that some of our greatest enemies are already inside the Church!
Neh 6:10 Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.
Neh 6:11 And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.
Neh 6:12 And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
There was only one answer then, and there is only one answer now!
*****Neh 4:16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.
Neh 4:17 They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.
How did Nehemiah counter the enemy?
Nehemiah placed people to work whose sole job was to look out for the enemy, and be prepared to fight to preserve the Children of God!
Every working soul was also given a weapon to keep near him or her.
We must be very clear. our God is much mightier than all the foes of the Church and if we will make our stand on the Word of God and not give in to the world, God will show His might to our enemies!
Confidence and faith go hand in hand!
Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
We must clearly understand that as far as life is concerned. salvation is much stronger than anything our enemies can throw at us!
Php 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Php 1:28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
What is the truth of our world?
*****Neh 4:18 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.
Throughout history life has been to work and life has been warfare.
Most of these things are because of the curse of Adam.
Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Gen 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
These things will not change until after the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of the Lord.
As Christians we will face these things every day, but we will find that our greatest enemy is ourself.
Our internal wars are our most severe battles and the most painful.
If we overcome this our greatest enemy, we will be ready for the Lord. If we cannot overcome these things, then all our lives we will be subject to the fear of this world.
Our enemies of the world are all those who oppose the Word of God, and reject the Lord Jesus Christ even though some of those we may call our friends and even our family.
The one thing we need to remember when the trumpet sounds, we will be going home.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Our strength will always be the Lord!
*****Neh 6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.
Neh 6:16 And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.
There are things that happen today that when the world observes them, they can only say that it had to come from God.
It is the job of the Holy Spirit to hold back the evil in this world and He cannot do that when the children of God are either too lazy to do the work or the church has quit on God.
We can say what we will, but both these things are happening in our Church today.
There is in reality a great falling away from the Church.
2Th_2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
There should be no doubt that we are in the day of that “falling away”.
Since this is true, then we could see the “man of sin”, the Antichrist come onto the scene at any time and he might already be here and has gone unnoticed.
The enemies of Israel in the day of Nehemiah had missed a great opportunity to cause harm to God’s people, not because they were afraid of Israel, but because they were afraid of the King of Persia.
Today the Children of Israel are safe from a true attack because they are allies of the United States of America.
If America ever withdraws the help to this tiny nation, or if America becomes too weak to help defend Israel, we will see that Israel will be attacked and then we will see that the prophesies of God will become a reality.
The job of the Church, at least here in America is more important now than ever, because we need to place our watchmen and gird up our loins, for we are in a war with the evil in our own nation.
We are foolish if we do not let our voice be heard.
God does not need any of us nor does He need our nation, His plan is going forward every day, but if we are on the Lord’s side, then we need to get busy!