WATCH OUT for your ENEMY’S ATTACK: "And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had brought their plot to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work. So it was, from that time on, that half of my servants worked at construction, while the other half held the spears, the shields, the bows, and wore armor; and the leaders were behind all the house of Judah. Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me." (Neh 4:15-18)
From the time Nehemiah started rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, he started experiencing a constant attack of some enemies including Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab (Neh 2:19). Here’s the chronology of the events showing the way they reacted and schemed together to thwart the work of God from the very beginning:
- When they heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being rebuilt, they were deeply disturbed (Neh 2:10).
- They laughed at Nehemiah and the Jews who were engaged in the construction efforts and despised them with taunting words that they were rebelling against the king (Neh 2:19)
- When they got the report that the walls were still being rebuilt, they were furious and very indignant, and they mocked the Jews who were engaged in this task (Neh 4:1).
- They became so angry that they conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion (Neh 4:7). Their objective was to kill the Jews and cause the rebuilding work to stop (Neh 4:11).
- They called for a ‘peace’ meeting with Nehemiah with the intention of harming him bodily (Neh 6:1-2).
- When Nehemiah refused to meet with them, they hired a secret informer called Shemaiah to prophesy falsely against Nehemiah in order to make him afraid and sin against God. Then they would flash this news around and discredit Nehemiah among all the Jews (Neh 6:10-13).
- Finally, they were so disheartened by their failed attempts to dissuade Nehemiah from his tasks (Neh 6:16) that they sent letters to Nehemiah to scare him into giving up (Neh 6:19b).
In spite of all these attempts, Nehemiah stood firm and escaped the clutches of his enemies with God’s help.
We must watch out always against the attack of Satan, our spiritual enemy. Do not expect that our warfare will be over until our earthly work is ended. The word of God is the sword of the Spirit, which we should always have at hand in our conflicts as Christians. Every true Christian is both a laborer and a soldier, working with one hand, and fighting with the other. Satan fears to attack the watchful Christian, and if he attacks we can be assured that our Lord will fight for us. Thus must we wait until our life’s journey ends when we shall be welcomed to the rest and joy of our Lord!
- "Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (Eph 6:11)
- Be sober; be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world." (1 Peter 5:8-9)