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Devising Strategies      Neh. 4:1-2, 4, 12-13, 19-20, 22; 6:2-3, 11-13      Jan. 07-07

Introduction

Christians generally may under estimate the scheming methods of Satan. In the text Sanballat surely

received his inspiration from the devil. In the book of Ephesians we are told to; “Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics (schemes or tricks) of the Devil.” Eph 6:11 (HCSB) It will be helpful for us to be among those Devising Strategies to deal with the devil and his servants.

 

1.    Devising Strategies To Cope with . .Mockery. 4:1-2, 4

        A.   Coping with The Mockery Through . . Determined Restoration. 4:1-2a

               1 When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious. He mocked the Jews

2 before his colleagues and the powerful men of Samaria, and said, “What are these pathetic Jews doing? Can they restore [it] by themselves?

 

       B.    Coping with The Mockery Through . . Dependent Restoration. 4:2b. 

               Will they offer sacrifices? Will they ever finish it? Can they bring these burnt stones back to life from the mounds of rubble?”

 

       C.   Coping with The Mockery Through . . Diverting the Ridicule. 4:4

               4 Listen, our God, for we are despised. Make their insults return on their own heads and let them be taken as plunder to a land of captivity.


       We will learn more from our text as Nehemiah shows determination, dependence, and diversion of the

mockery. His faith in God caused his determination, as he believed he possessed a plan and unction from the Lord to rebuild the city walls. Nehemiah always illustrated a dependance on the Lord. He knew the task was too difficult without supernatural intervention. With wisdom from the Lord he diverted the ridicule to the Lord, and asked three requests of God in this one verse (3) as he asked the Lord to listen, make the insults return on the heads of the enemy, and them to be taken captive.


 

2.    Devising Strategies To Cope with . . Malice. 4:12-13, 19-20, 22

       A.   Coping with The Malice Through . . Stationing the Soldiers. 4:12-13

12 When the Jews who lived nearby arrived, they said to us time and again, “Everywhere you turn,

[they] attack us.” 13 So I stationed [people] behind the lowest sections of the wall, at the vulnerable areas.

I stationed them by families with their swords, spears, and bows.

 

       B.    Coping with The Malice Through . . Stabilizing the Soldiers. 4:19-20

               19 Then I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people: “The work is enormous and

spread out, and we are separated far from one another along the wall. 20 Wherever you hear the trumpet sound, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us!”

 

       C.   Coping with The Malice Through . . Standing of the Guard. 4:22

               22 At that time, I also said to the people, “Let everyone and his servant spend the night inside Jerusalem, so that they can stand guard by night and work by day.”


       The KJV says warnings were given ten times concerning the enemy. Devising strategies to deal with the threatened malice led Nehemiah to strategically station, stabilize, and stand his soldiers. This became a family project with families stationed together. This added to the proper use of pride as families desired to defeat the enemy together. The people were stabilized as the trumpet blew, and that called out the area of need. The personal commitment of time around the clock further expressed the dedication of the people.


 

3.    Devising Strategies To Cope with . . Misrepresentation.       6:2-3

       A.   Coping with The Misrepresentation Through . . Interpretation of the Invitation. 6:2

               2 Sanballat and Geshem sent me a message: “Come, let’s meet together in the villages of the Ono Valley.” But they were planning to harm me.

 

       B.    Coping with The Misrepresentation Through . . Intelligent Interaction. 6:3

3 So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down. Why

should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?”


       What do we do when those who have mocked us invite us to meet with them? Immediately we might interpret the invitation as an answer to prayer. The evidence in our text shows that taking such a request to the Lord in prayer will give the wisdom needed to know how to interpret this invitation. Nehemiah knew how to interpret the request, and knew Sanballat planned to harm him. Then he made a very intelligent interaction as he relayed the message that he should not leave the great work he was doing to talk with these detractors.


 

4.    Devising Strategies To Cope with . . Manipulation.        6:11-13

       A.   Coping with The Manipulation . . Revelation. 6:11-12

11 But I said, "Should a man like me run away? How can I enter the temple and live? I will not go."

12 I realized that God had not sent him, because of the prophecy he spoke against me. Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.

 

       B.    Coping with The Manipulation Through . . Reputation. 6:11-12

13 He was hired, so that I would be intimidated, do as he suggested, sin, and get a bad reputation,

in order that they could discredit me.


Nehemiah realized the truth behind the attempt to manipulate him. It was an effort to discredit him, and certainly not the plan of God. His walk with the Lord enabled him to know this by Divine revelation. He had built an honorable reputation through his godly example and the revelation allowed him to know following this hired servant would destroy his reputation. Let us use this lesson to help us in Devising Strategies to deal with those who try to hinder our work for God. Amen? Amen!