Our God Will Fight For Us

Photo by Patricia McCarty: https://www.pexels.com/photo/jesus-saves-neon-signage-1769691/

Please turn with me in your Bibles to Nehemiah chapter 4.

The Bible tells us that we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). As a nation, we came through two years of COVID – and are still being plagued by COVID. I suspect that COVID is something that will be with us forever, much like Influenza. How can this be “good”? But COVID was, indeed, good. COVID exposed a great deal of evil that was going on in our country, evil we were unaware of. Our children were being taught something called “Critical Race Theory”, which postulates that all who are “white” are evil, whereas people of color are inherently “good”. The group “Moms For America” in an article entitled Critical Race Theory Teaches Our Children To Hate Their Country, Neighbors, and Themselves notes:

A national organization named “Black Lives Matter at School” (BLMS) is infiltrating our children’s schools with a “new uprising for racial justice” which includes teaching globalism, transgender and queer affirming agendas as well as promoting racism and sexism. The program has already been endorsed by the National Education Association, the largest teachers’ union in the United States.

Our schools have become a very dangerous place for our children. It has been reduced to a propaganda breeding ground where our children are taught they are either oppressed or the oppressors. The left says, if you’re Black you’re told you’ll never succeed because White people won’t let you; If you’re a girl you’re told you’ll never succeed because men will always hold you down; If you’re a boy you’re a future rapist and if you’re a White man you’re a racist rapist.

Is it any wonder our kids are depressed and suicide is on the rise—especially among teenage boys?”

If COVID and the mandatory closure of schools had not occurred, most parents would have remained unaware of CRT and what their children were being taught. COVID brought a number of things to light, not just CRT. COVID brought into the light how wide spread sexual perversity has grown in America, and has exposed both “Cancel Culture” as well as “Identity Politics”. The government is not helping matters, but is in fact promoting evil.

How can we fix this nation? We cannot, but Jesus can. Jesus is the Messiah, the King of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God MUST come if America is to right itself.

Nehemiah is a good study for all Christians now. Only united, in love with God and with one another, can we build the Kingdom of God on this earth. Jesus said in Luke 17:21, “The Kingdom of God is within you”. As God’s people work together for the glory of God (and not the placating of man) the Kingdom of God grows, much as leaven or yeast works within bread dough (Matthew 13:33). When God rules in the hearts of His people, and His people live for Him no matter where they are, there is nothing the devil or this world can do to stop us. Where King Jesus rules, the world cannot overcome. Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33).

When God’s Work Goes Forward,
Expect The Enemy To Grow And Attack

Nehemiah 4:1-3 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. 2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? 3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.

Nehemiah has – through the Grace of God – been allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls around the capital city. Because God has blessed the work, King Artaxerxes has financed the rebuilding of the wall. This is amazing because Artaxerxes was one of the reasons the wall had been torn down for some 7 decades! God is in it, and so it will go forward.

But darkness will always oppose the Light of God. We read in verse 1:

Nehemiah 4:1 … when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews

Sanballat is the governor of Samaria, the capital city of Northern Israel. During the reign of King Rehoboam (the son of King Solomon) Israel divided into the Northern (10 tribes) and Southern Kingdoms (Judah & Benjamin). Jerusalem is the Capital City of Southern Israel, and Samaria the Capital City of Northern Israel. Sanballat is against the repair of the walls of Jerusalem. It is not to his advantage to have Southern Israel regather as a nation.

Sanballat and Tobiah the Ammonite (see Nehemiah 2:10) were “grieved that Nehemiah came to seek the welfare of the children of (Southern) Israel. As Nehemiah encourages the people to build, the forces of evil grow. Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian (Nehemiah 2:19) not only mocked the rebuilding of the wall before it was started, but also bore false witness, claiming that the rebuilders were actually rebelling against Artaxerxes. When the darkness attacks Pastor Gregory Brown in his article Recognizing The Tactics Of The Enemy notes:

How do we prepare for the attacks, and how do we defeat these attacks? Yes, we must put on the armor of God, which is primarily a righteous life. But along with that, we must be aware of the enemy’s tactics. Satan wants to immobilize us and keep us from progressing in our spiritual lives, and therefore, he will come with many different attacks. {Satan} wants to keep us from building and completing the work that God has called us to.”

How did the darkness attack Nehemiah? We read Sanballat … was wroth. The word wroth is the Hebrew חָרָה chârâh, {pronounced khaw-raw’}, which means “to BURN WITH ANGER, to BE KINDLED”. He approached Nehemiah in a white hot rage. He was hopping mad, and showed it in his voice and body language. How many times have we seen the enemy have a “melt down” over something they do not like. Last Sunday we studied in James where we are told:

James 1:20 … the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

The Way of Christ and the Kingdom of God do not operate on “meltdowns”. Our work is to bring in the Kingdom of God on this earth.

Sanballat – whether he knows it or not – wants to STOP the KINGDOM OF GOD from coming on the earth. He is not speaking in private to Nehemiah, but in the presence of many. He is like the young woman I saw the other day on Social Media having a “meltdown” over something that bothered her. The Psalmist (37:8) said, Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

What else did Sanballat do to thwart the Kingdom? We read:

Nehemiah 4:1 {He} .. took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.

Sanballat made fun of and mocked the Kingdom of God and it’s workers. We read:

Nehemiah 4:2 And {Sanballat} spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?

Sanballat mocks the rebuilding while inciting the army of Samaria. This army was standing nearby – close enough to hear – while Sanballat ridiculed the builders. The Bible says that Satan is the accuser of the Child of God (Revelation 12:10). The Bible says,

Romans 8:33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies …

Satan Does Not Want God’s Kingdom To Come

Satan uses people to discourage the work of God. He uses Sanballat to try and stop the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. Notice the five question that Sanballat asks. These five questions have a dual purpose: they encourage the darkness, while discouraging the light.

  1. What do these feeble Jews? This question addresses the strength of the workers. These workers are “feeble” (ămēlāl, pronounced am-ay-lawl’), pitifully weak. These people do not have the strength necessary to rebuild a wall of any value. At the most, it will be but a facade. It is true that the workers are weak. Yet God tells us that My Grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). The Bible tells us that I can do ALL THINGS through Christ Who strengthens me. If God is in the work with us, it will be done. The power is of the Lord!
  2. Will they fortify themselves? This is actually a subtle threat. If the work continues on, Sanballat is hinting that he will mobilize his army, and wipe out the workers.
  3. Will they sacrifice? The work before them is impossible. Will the workers sacrifice to God, and convince God Himself to rebuild the wall? It’s impossible, so they might as well give up. Beloved, Jesus said:

    Luke 1:37 (ESV) For NOTHING will be impossible WITH GOD

    When Igor Sikorsky, the inventor of the first helicopter, was a child his parents told him that human flight was impossible. When he built his first helicopter plant in America he had a sign put up for the workers to see. It read, “According to recognized aerotechnical tests, the bumblebee cannot fly because of the shape and weight of his body in relation to the total wing area. The bumblebee doesn’t know this, so he goes ahead and flies anyway”. Our God is the God of the impossible!
  4. Will they make an end in a day? Here Sanballat points out that the job is no simple one, that it will take a loooong time to finish, and the people will run out of energy. The Enduring Word Commentary notes:

    “Discouragement is such a powerful weapon because it is somewhat the opposite of faith. Where faith believes God and His love and promises, discouragement looks for and believes the worst – and tends to pretty much forget about who God is and what He has promised to do.”
  5. Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? Here Sanballat talks about their lack of materials. The original wall of Jerusalem was built of “white limestone. When this material is burned it loses its strength and hardness and turns to powder”.

The workers have no hope. As Sanballat finishes his diatribe, Tobiah pipes up:

Nehemiah 4:3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.

Even if you build up a wall, it won’t stand up to the slightest pressure. A fox will be able to jump up on it (it won’t be that high), and when he does, it will fall down (it won’t be that strong). But Tobiah refers to the wall as their stone wall. This isn’t their stone wall, it’s GOD’S stone wall. How does Nehemiah respond to Sanballat and Tobiah? We read:

Nehemiah 4:4-5 Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: 5 And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.

Nehemiah doesn’t even address his critics. He goes directly to God in prayer. Pastor Steven J. Cole writes:

When the enemy opposes us as he surely will, we should respond with prayer, work, vigilance, and focus on the Lord”.

Nehemiah uses prayer as a weapon against fear. Hear, O our God begins his prayer. The word Hear literally means “to hear so as to do”. Nehemiah is calling on God to mobilize, and to defeat the enemy. The Bible tells us that we are not to take vengeance on the enemy, but to “give place to wrath”.

Romans 12:19 … for it is written, Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord ..

We are called to serve our God, to glorify Him with our lives. Nehemiah has done his part. He went to King Artaxerxes. He made the long trip to Jerusalem. He shared and organized the rebuilding project with the refugees. Now Nehemiah asks God to do to the enemy what the enemy wanted to do to them. Nehemiah asks that they be defeated. He also said,

they have provoked thee to anger before the builders

Nothing angers God like those who will stand against His Kingdom and His Son. When you are doing the work God called you to do, and someone speaks against it, they are not speaking against YOU but against GOD. God told the Prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 8:7):

it is not you they have rejected, but they
have rejected Me as their king”

Nehemiah and the workers are doing what God called them to do. To attack them is to attack God. So Nehemiah prayed, recognized that the work they were doing was God’s work … then they all went back to work.

I love that. Nehemiah prayed, then went back to work. He did his part, and left God to do His part. We are not called to do God’s part. It is foolish to try. Only God can changed the heart of the wicked. Only God can protect us from the wicked. So Nehemiah and the workers went back to rebuilding the wall.

Keep Your Minds On Kingdom Work,
Not On
Worldly Distractions

Nehemiah 4:6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

Verse 6 covers a undistinguished length of time. Sanballat and his men left the area, and the work continued unabated. We read the people had a mind to work. The people with Nehemiah were not discouraged, but their minds were united in wanting to serve the Lord in this project. This should be the Spirit in every Christian’s heart. The Holy Spirit is given to us to teach us the things of God. We have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). United in their mindset, the workers passed the halfway mark of repairing the wall. Yet evil is persistent. The wall is only half as high as it should be.

Nehemiah 4:7-8 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, 8 And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.

Sanballat first attacked the Kingdom of God, then Tobiah, then came along Geshem the Arabian. NOW WE SEE FIVE GROUPS have gathered together, and are conspiring to destroy Jerusalem and its workers. Though these five groups are all distinctive and different, that which unites them is that they HATE THE LIGHT OF GOD. They want to “fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it”. The word translated “hinder” is the Hebrew words ʿāśâ tôʿâ, {pronounced aw-saw’ to-aw’}, which means “to manufacture error or confusion”. Satan loves to bring confusion into the Kingdom of God. God is not the Author of Confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), but of peace. What did Nehemiah and the workers do?

Nehemiah 4:9 Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.

Nehemiah and the people prayed, and set a watch against them day and night. They asked God to do His part, and they did their part. By praying and doing, the people signaled that they were committed to following the Lord. The people also sent a message to the enemy. “We are not afraid of you, and will keep working no matter how much you threaten. The people also showed God their faith was in Him, not in themselves.

Nehemiah 4:10 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.

At the halfway mark there was so much debris on the ground that it was getting impossible for the workers to build. The work went smoothly until the debris piled up. Now it is critical that this rubbish be taken away. It is Judah, the Ruling Tribe of Israel, who suggests that the work cease because of the rubble on the ground. The enemy knows about this buildup of rubbish, and says:

Nehemiah 4:11 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.

To the workers, the rubbish on the ground was a tripping hazard, something that could stop the work. To the enemy, the rubbish on the ground is an opportunity to cause the work to cease. Not only this, but people from outside of the workers and Sanballat’s forces come into the city to discourage Nehemiah:

Nehemiah 4:12 And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you.

What did Nehemiah do in response to this further discouragement?

Nehemiah 4:13-14 Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.

Nehemiah arranged the workers so that those working on the lower parts of the wall were guarded by swords and spears and bows. Nehemiah asked to keep looking unto God, and keep on looking out for one another. Together Israel will win, or together Israel will die. The workers were to keep their focus on the God Who loved them so. Remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren. Love God, love your brothers and sisters in the faith. Nehemiah tells them:

Be not ye afraid of them, For
Our God Shall Fight For Us

Do not let fear drive you. Let faith drive you. Our God is great and terrible. He is far more powerful than any force that can be allayed against us. They are to be ready to fight for your brethren. The twin commandments of God’s Kingdom is:

Matthew 22:37 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Matthew 22:39 Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Now Nehemiah gets everyone working together. We read:

Nehemiah 4:16-18 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons {širyôn, breastplates, armor}; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah. 17 They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. 18 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.

Nehemiah divided the workforce into DEFENSIVE and OFFENSIVE. The DEFENSIVE worked on the wall, while the OFFENSIVE watched over the builders and prepared to fight the enemy. As the wall building progressed, the workers got spread out far enough apart to where the work crews could be attacked. Nehemiah kept the person who sounded the trumpet near himself. Nehemiah told the people:

Nehemiah 4:19-20 The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another. 20 In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.

God promises to fight for His people, for those in covenant with Him. Nehemiah reminded the people that our God is a Covenant Keeping God. God tells us:

Deuteronomy 3:22 (ESV) You shall not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.

Deuteronomy 20:4 (ESV) the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.

We may wield the weapon, but God controls the outcome. He looks after those who trust in Him. In Luke chapter 22, our Lord Jesus prepares to go to the Cross to die for our sins. Jesus tells His disciples:

Luke 22:36-38 (ESV) … But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” 38 And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”

Jesus must go to the Cross and be “numbered with the transgressors”, that is, die between two thieves. So Jesus told His disciples to make sure they had a sword so they could thwart the enemy from killing Him before His time. There was an interesting article in the Journal of Biblical Literature 137, no. 2 (2018) {the article “Double Edged: The Meaning of the Two Swords in Luke 22:35-38}.

“… nothing must deter God’s salvific plan. In Luke 22:38, taking up the sword ensures Jesus’ safe transit to the Mount of Olives in prayerful preparation for His ensuing arrest; in Luke 22:51, putting away the sword ensures the arrest will proceed.”

Why must the wall be built around Jerusalem? Why must swords and spears be used, if necessary, to ensure that the wall is built? Because God’s grand plan to save this world requires that Jesus Christ be born of a virgin into this world through the nation Israel. If the wall of Jerusalem is not built, the Capital City will never be rebuilt. If the Capital City is never rebuilt, the Temple will never be built. If the Temple is not built, Israel will cease to be, and all prophecy related to the coming of Christ will be overturned.

But the wall must be built. Christ must come. Jesus must die on Calvary, and rise again. If He does not, the Kingdom of God will never come. And this, God will cause to come. our God shall fight for us.

The Kingdom of God MUST come. It must come to America, or our nation will fall. It must come through Christ’s people. Nehemiah and the workers understood that God’s Kingdom must come, and God’s will must be done. We end with these words:

Nehemiah 4:21-23 So we labored in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared. 22 Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labor on the day. 23 So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing.

May we so labor faithfully for our God. Let us bring in His Kingdom, and labor for the Master. For the preservation of America, and the salvation of our world. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
This entry was posted in General, Nehemiah, Sermons Preached and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.