Several months ago, I carefully articulated several satanic devices that our enemy will throw at us. By way of review and recapitulation, I want us to see some of the poisoned arrows that the devil had already shot at Nehemiah; some of the tools that the devil had already used to wreck the work of God; and some of the dirty tricks that Satan had already pulled from his bag of evil.
In Nehemiah 4:1-3, we see that the first thing the devil tried was derision. He tried to laugh them out of a work for God. Our text states that, “Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.” He tried by ridicule to drive them away from a work for God. But, thank God, Nehemiah did not wither up or fold up because they laughed him to scorn. He realized that any true servant of God is going to be laughed at, and he determined that he would not be laughed away from a work for God.
And so, the enemy came with another trick. This time he tried discouragement. In Nehemiah 4:10 we read, “And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall” (Nehemiah 4:10). When the job was halfway done, the people became discouraged. I know the devil would like to discourage me, and I know the devil would like to discourage you. It’s okay to be weary in the work, but we mustn’t get weary of the work. These people were just simply getting weary of the work. They were weighted down, they were wrought up, and they got discouraged. And, Nehemiah gave the battle cry, “Remember the LORD.”
When derision and discouragement did not work, the devil pulled out another arrow named danger. Our text says,”And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease” (Nehemiah 4:11). The devil threatened bodily harm! And, friend, he’s not above threatening you with bodily harm-physical harm-if you take a stand for God. We must not think that the devil is some soft person. “The devil,” Jesus said, is”a murderer” (John 8:44). Yet, Nehemiah was not going to be intimidated by the threat of physical, bodily harm. He put a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other, and he said, “Let us continue to build.”
The devil was not finished yet. He tried discord. In Nehemiah 5:1, we read, “And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews.” Now, the devil said, “If I can’t beat them any other way, I’ll get them arguing among themselves. I’ll spark discord-dissention in the ranks-and my motto will be ‘divide and conquer.'”
Nehemiah taught his people there are no problems too big to solve-just people too small to solve them. He found out what the problem was that was causing dissention. He faced it; he fought it; he solved it; and the work of the building of the walls went on.
The satanic tactic the devil tried next was depletion. He tried to take away their resources. In Nehemiah 5:3 we read, “Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth. There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king’s tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards.”
The devil got them in debt, and they were facing financial bondage. But Nehemiah taught them the principles of financial freedom. It is not God’s will for His people to be in financial bondage. Nehemiah refused to let finances stop the work of God. When the devil tries depletion, remember: God’s treasuries are still full!
Until The Last Person Has Heard,