The Book of Nehemiah teaches us so much in regards to leadership and our dependence on God irrespective of all that may come our way. apart from looking at the strategy of rebuilding the broken city, we can equally see the struggles that he went through in the hands of known enemies. The aggressor will always be one with some form of authority as it were, and as present-day believers, we can learn from these nuggets as we look at the fourth chapter of Nehemiah.
It is interesting the way the enemy tries to “size up the perceived prey” and asks the questions that always lingers in their minds which often reduced to what we see Sanballat asking his brothers. we will look at these questions and the attitudes behind them even as we ask the Lord to help us stay above our enemies.
“Then Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed.” You will notice that the enemies normally wait to hear things about you or is keen to keep up with what is happening in your life. Therefore, they will be ready to “hear” what is happening. not because they are ready to praise God with you but to ignite the anger and I may add hatred that is already in them towards you as a child of God. The enemy wants to maintain the status quo, in that just remain there and have no progress because you shouldn’t. he wants to define life for you so that he can be able to handle you while you are some point where he has the upper hand. everybody else can progress but you! That’s a lie from the devil child of God. you must and will grow better in this life!
“He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria,” Another notable thing to not with the enemy is that they never operate alone. There always some people behind the scenes working closely with them to encourage or to assist in puffing pride. for the enemy to feel that he has achieved, he has to have the bragging rights but the question is, to who? who is this significant other that the enemy has to confide in and please? is it an individual? a group? a club? a society? and the list continues. What is the motivation behind this behaviour? it will please you to know that there is always someone or something behind the “bragging rights”.
He said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? The enemy will not want to admit that you are strong enough to do something by yourself. He wants to make you small in his eyes for his comfort and not for you. Now, this knowledge may excite you or dampen your spirit depending on who/what you believe in. Jesus tells us that we can do all things through Him irrespective of what may look like a fact! you may not be able to eat 30 kg of meat at one sitting as a Lion would but you can do it in a month! so when the enemy looks at what may be a disadvantage, remember that you have One who makes all things right!
“Will they restore their wall?” our ability to restore is a reality, and our resilience even in the advent of terror will defeat the evil one. The cannot have doubt on your ability to rebuild if you couldn’t. it would be useless and a waste of resources. That fact that you can come back and be restored to your original or intended self, the enemy will never be at peace with you. the challenge will be to have you in a state of mind that knows what it means to be restored. what did you lose that you need restoration in-order to take up what is rightfully yours? the truth is that God can restore you to Himself and you are able to be brought back but do you believe it can happen as your enemy does?
“Will they offer sacrifices?” The enemy was concerned with the object of worship. He must have been terrified that the God of Nehemiah would not be kind to him and his cronies and thus afraid that He would be worshipped again and favour the children of God and fight for them. There seems to be some knowledge in the hands of the enemy about the ability of our God and this makes them weary. The purpose, as we can see here, is to deflect our eyes from God to fear and submission to him.
Will they finish in a day? The enemy is very conscious of time. He knows what times means for him and all who work with him. He acknowledges that he can’t control it but he is well aware that you can plan within the time that God has for you to do exploits! He knows! What day are you in? can you plan with the day that you have? it’s important to have time limits in what you do so that you can focus knowing that time is not in your hand but in the one who has enabled you to do that which you ought to do. What time is it?
Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble —burned as they are?” Can they really come back to life? I thought we had finished them! Such are the thoughts of the enemy when your possibilities become a reality in their sight. when the enemy thought you are finished completely, the Lord can still bring you back. You must and should believe that you can do it, and for sure you will do it. The enemy thinks you can’t add up to anything because as far as he is concerned, all your faculties, sources, hopes, dreams, helps etc are done away with and the best explanation is that of a “sitting duck”. But when you start moving, one step at a time, then confusion begins to reign in the enemies camp.
“Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, ‘What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!’” Here we are introduced to a very important aspect in the lives of the people around our enemies but equally around us. they are “our advisors” who in this case are “evil advisors” We see that Sanballat had advisors who never brought him to the truth but continued to blind him on the realities on the ground even after he insinuated some doubt and his fears on their ability to rebuild and the reality of worshipping God again.