Tuesday, 9 August 2022
I said, “The thing which you are doing is not good; should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies?” -Nehemiah 5:8
The Book of Nehemiah is a godly leader’s account of the return and restitution of the Jews in their homeland after the Babylonian captivity and the massive work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. However, this was not a simple or easy project –Chapters 4 to 6 reveal several obstacles and conflicts that the enemy tried to bring to dissuade the rebuilding the walls. In chapter 4 opposition arose from outside in the form of Sanballat and his companions, but through divine counsel, the Israelites resisted the attack and the chapter ends on a positive note of victory that the work of the walls continued.
However, Chapter 5 commences with an internal conflict – the cry of the working class Israelites against the injustice and heavy taxes that their own rich brethren imposed, leading them to poverty and even slavery! (Vs 1-5) While the enemy failed to disrupt the work through external means, his next tactic was to bring an internal discord and disunity. The immense project of rebuilding the walls was possible only if the people worked in harmony and unity and any internal conflict would hamper the progress. Today as the church – the body of Christ labors during the end time harvest, we need to be constantly vigilant of the internal attack that the enemy schemes.
Recognize the Enemies Tactics: Satan’s aim is not just to disrupt our ministry, but his ultimate focus is to frustrate the advancement of the Kingdom of God and prevent the deliverance of lost lives. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
Remain Alert: Always be vigilant against conflicts and disagreements that may arise. Be self–controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Speak the Truth in Love: Correction or bringing to light wrongs done and making amends should always be done in love, as we see Nehemiah address the injustice done towards the poor Jews with the rich brethren. If we truly love our brethren, correct and resolutions can be done in love.
Stand United in the Spirit: We are called to remain united in the Holy Spirit, as one in Christ. In Ephesians 4:11-13 Paul reminds us that every gifting of God is given for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Resist the Enemy: Leaders and believers individually have been given the mandate to remain watchful and resist the enemy, daily putting on the armor of God and standing firm. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)
Through the counsel of the Holy Spirit and unity, as the returned exiles under the leadership of Nehemiah labored together, the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt in just 52 days! (Neh. 6:15) Similarly, when the Body of Christ stands united in purpose and mission against every tactic of the enemy from without and within, we will see greater works accomplished for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom.
Think on: Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1)