Our Response to the Oppositions (Nehemiah 4:1-23)

Nehemiah 4:1-23
When the city of Jerusalem have been destroyed, the people returned from their Babylonian captivity and rebuilt the temple (Ezra 1-6). The temple was the place where the worship of the Lord was reinstated. It was the first stage of the rebuilding. Now, the walls that protected the city and temple have been broken down as well and the gates have been burnt by fire and it too will be rebuilt. The rebuilding of it has been the focus of Nehemiah. As the rebuilding of the walls and gates began, opposition from the enemy began as well. The first thing that their enemy did was to mock and ridicule them in order to discourage and have them give up on their commitment on the work that God is doing (Nehemiah 4:2-3).
Last week we exposed the tactics of Satan and how he plots to oppose the works of God and our personal commitment to that which God is doing in and through our lives. Familia, we are in a real battle against the adversary. As a reminder, the tactics he often uses is to discourage us. He does this by causing you and I to see and focus on the great rubble in the situations in front of us and in doing so make us feel that the work at hand is too great and can never be accomplished. He mocks and ridicules and make fun of our faith, our commitment, our lack of it. But when these tactics fails, he then tries a direct assault against us (v. 8).
How Nehemiah responded. (Our response to the opposition of the adversary)
1. Prayer to our God. (v. 4, 9)
  • Nehemiah called upon God in prayer. We too should do the same. Prayer should always be our first response. We should realize and accept our limitations and take an honest view of our strength and abilities. Then immediately recognize who we are and what we have in our relationship with Jesus Christ. We need to truly believe that our God is our source of unlimited help, resource and strength, in Christ.
  • Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and His mighty power.”
  • 2 Corinthians 10:4 “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
  • Nehemiah believed that prayer to his God was essential to the rebuilding work to be successful. Let us learn this lesson from him and make our prayer unto God and see Him do mighty works on our behalf (v. 9).
  • Yes, prayer is important. But my praying is not an excuse to be lazy and not act on the part God has given us to do. We pray and ask God for help and guidance, then we do our part in cooperation to what He tells us to do.
2. Be on constant guard against the enemy. (v. 11)
  • Be vigilant, be alert, be prepared for the attacks of the enemy. (v. 13; 16-18)
  • How? By knowing the truth of the Word of God. “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints (Ephesians 6:17-18).” When we know the absolute truth of the Word of God, we can easily recognize the counterfeit, the lies of the enemy.
  • Let the enemy hear that we are aware of his schemes (v. 15).
3. Encourage and help one another. (v. 14; 19-20)
  • Because the enemy is so relentless to discourage and get us to give up, it is vital that we be relentless in regularly encouraging and motivating one another with who God is and what He has done for us.
  • Nehemiah directed the people to the Lord. He was a great encourager. He encouraged the people to remember the Lord and not look at the power of the enemy, but look at the power of God. He reminded them that the Lord is great and awesome and will fight for them.
  • The Lord will fight for us today. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).” “If God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)?”