Building With Sword and Trowel

Date: PM
Text: Nehemiah 4
Psalters: 173, 188, 113, 160
  1. Devilish opposition.
    1. Trouble came first from without, in the form of mockery, threats and plots.
      1. Sanballat (sin gives life) a governor in Samaria; Tobiah (an Ammonite from the east) a false prophet become enraged.
      2. Also they conspire (8) with others (Arabians from the south and Ashdodites from the west) to create terrorists acts (11).
    2. Behind such rage is Satan, who inspired men to hate God, His work and Word, and His people.
    3. Another threat to the work is discouragement in the ranks (10), which results from the mockery and threats.
      1. Those who lived in outlying villages were repeatedly threatened: their families would be attacked in their absence (12).
      2. Pessimism and fear sapped their strength and led to some despair.
  2. There were responses to the mockery and threats.
    1. Nehemiah responded by praying (so immediate that he breaks right out,4,5), and had the people pray (9).
      1. Prayer (awareness of God’s relationship to us) fortifies us to plan a defense with two elements.
      2. Nehemiah prayed that God would judge the wicked for their sins against Himself and His people.
    2. Second, Nehemiah’s prayer led to the action of setting a watch (9,13).
    3. Third, Nehemiah equipped everyone with a sword strapped to their side (18), but kept them working (a trowel).
  3. The wonderful result.
    1. The enemies were deflated: their plans have been detected and saw the Jews renewed commitment to work.
    2. The Jews were united in their determination to resist their threat.
      1. We are given to see our victory by prayer and continued commitment to the building up of the church.
      2. The more we apply the full armor of God, the greater our protection and the less likely of our being attacked.