Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

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Nehemiah was taught by Dr. James Modlish





Nehemiah was not "out of the woods" yet. He and his people had successfully overcome the various oppositions they had faced thus far. In chapter six we find pressure is brought to bear on the leader himself. The selfish attitudes of chapter five served to discourage the body of the people as a whole. The earlier threats were aimed at disheartening an aggressive, purposeful work force. All the people, including Nehemiah, were affected to one degree or another.

In chapter six we see the enemy launch an all out attack on the leader himself. The leader is usually the type of person that people either love or hate, there seems to be very little room for mediocrity. As a result of this the leader spends his time either "on top of things" or "in the pits". He's either in the penthouse or the outhouse; he's the hero one moment, the goat the next. People in leadership positions must live on the yo-yo of public opinion. It's when the leader is under verbal attack of the intimidating public that he shows his true colors. The heavyweight boxing champion of the world, not only must be able to deliver a devastating knockout punch, but he must be able to take the same punch and go another round. These principles undoubtedly spill over into the realm of our Christian service.

In chapter six Nehemiah faces three personal attacks: in (6:1-4) he faces guile, deceit and conspiracy; in (6:5-9) his motives are questioned by innuendo; and in (6:10-14) the enemy continues its' attack by intimidation.



I. A Well Timed Attack (6:1,3)

II. The Strategy - An Ecumenical Council (6:2)
III. The Rumor Mill (6:6,7)
IV. Mission Accomplished (6:15,16)
V. Bad Losers (6:17-19)



"Things were going so well, what a time for this to happen!" Did you ever hear that before? The work was pressing forward, spirits were high and then someone threw a monkey wrench into the gear box! Satan has a talent for making an offensive move against the Christian just at the right moment. I'm sure that more often than not, Satan isn't within 500 miles of the catastrophe. The world calls this situation "Murphy's Law" the Bible calls it (Rom. 8:28)!

Nonetheless the work was just about complete, Nehemiah and his cohorts were about to put the finishing touches on the wall (vs. 1). Then came word that the opposition was interested in sitting down at the conference table to discuss "détente". How often I have seen a Christian just get back on his spiritual feet when another test or trial confronts him head on. The enemy had conspired to eliminate the man of God.



Attack can come in such subtle form. Sanballat first wanted to get Nehemiah's mind off the work then physically remove him from the job site. This would bring the work to a stand still. Even if Sanballat and Tobiah had something constructive to contribute, these "conferences" accomplish so little. There certainly are times to communicate and get organized but some people spend more time talking about what should or could be done, than doing it!

Sanballat and Tobiah wanted to sigh a "peace treaty" with Nehemiah. This was most probably their pretense. Did you ever think of this? Treaties are never signed because of the mutual trust between two parties, they are drawn up because of mutual distrust!

The enemy persisted... "four times" (vs. 4) ... but Nehemiah wouldn't take the bait.



Lying, slander and gossip are some of the enemy's favorite tools. There will always be those who are so small that know they can find someone just as small as they are to listen to the trash they generate.

We've already discussed criticism and the grace that is required to handle the armchair quarterbacks ... but slander ... that's another ball game. The urge to defend oneself can consume you and cause you to act irrationally. It is a fact, that either here or in heaven, God will vindicate the righteous. Oftentimes over reacting to slander only draws needless attention to an already unhealthy situation.

Nehemiah recognized that the lies of (verse 6) were not only directed against himself, but against God's work. His response, "0 God, strengthen my hands."

Note the man of God's discernment ... (vs. 11) "should such a man as I flee ... ?"; (vs. 12) "I perceived that God had not sent him..."; (vs. 13) "...I should be afraid ... and sin." Nehemiah knew that his enemies would use his fear to discourage the troops.



"So the wall was finished..." Five Chapters and fifteen verses later. What had been a burden in the heart of the man of God and a purpose in the mind of an almighty God, had become reality.

Results ... the enemy was "cast down in their own eyes" and "they perceived that this work was wrought of our God." The results were undeniable. If the work had not been finished there would have been every reason for one to believe the work was not of God in the first place.



The enemy had to face the reality of defeat, of course they didn't have the courage to admit it to themselves. So onward!, forward!, upward! etc... they went. They couldn't stop now they had committed themselves. Tobiah continued his anti-Nehemiah campaign to save face. The continued correspondence only served as a smokescreen to obscure the fact that their plans had been "boondoggled".

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