Summary: TODAY AS WE LOOK AT CH 6 IN NEHEMIAH- WE WILL SEE HOW THE ENEMY DISTRACTS US.Do you have any unfinished projects lying around ? It’s so easy to get sidetracked isn’t it? It takes tenacity to finish what we start because there are always so many distracti
TODAY AS WE LOOK AT CH 6 IN NEHEMIAH- WE WILL SEE HOW THE ENEMY DISTRACTS US.Do you have any unfinished projects lying around ? It’s so easy to get sidetracked isn’t it? It takes tenacity to finish what we start because there are always so many distractions. One thing that WE clearly SEE our study in the Book of Nehemiah is that life is a battle from beginning to end. In Ephesians 6:12 the Apostle Paul New International Version (NIV)12 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. We meet these powers of darkness in our text today.
Here in Nehemiah 6, as in many other places in Scripture, we learn that the devil has two main ways of working.
The first tactic is fear. Satan is prowling around, as Peter says in 1 Peter 5:8, New International Version (NIV)8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. “like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
2. But he has another battle plan as well. He not only uses fear, he also utilizes flattery. 2 Corinthians 11:14New International Version (NIV)14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.
Satan “masquerades as an angel of light.” He comes with enticing promises and flattering words, assuring us that what he proposes will cost us nothing.
Whatever method HE USES, whether it's fear or flattery, his aim is to distract and destroy us.We need to be on guard against each of these approaches.
That is why Paul says in 2 Corinthians 2:11 New Living Translation (NLT)11 so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes. “We are not unaware of his schemes.” We need to be on guard because Satan is both a lion that devours and a serpent that deceives. And yet there are some very instructive things we find here regarding how we need to deal with the very real threat of becoming distracted from doing what God has called us to do.
I. Distracting Dangers Nehemiah Faced:
Let’s look at these :
A. A Plot to Distract- vs 1-4Now it happened when Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, and that there were no breaks left in it (though at that time I had not hung the doors in the gates), 2 that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together among the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they thought to do me harm. 3 So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?”4 But they sent me this message four times, and I answered them in the same manner.
These enemies suddenly pretend to become Nehemiah’s friends and invite him to a conference down on the plain of Ono. The first four verses look like a political concession speech they want to meet with Nehemiah and cut their losses or so it seems.Ono is located on the seacoast near the Gaza strip. It was a beautiful resort area. But Nehemiah senses danger: “they were scheming to harm me.” So Nehemiah said, “Oh, no!” to Ono.The enemies were now desperate. AND THEY SEND THE SAME MESSAGE 4 TIMES, 4 TIMES. they still held out hope that the project could be stopped, or at least that Nehemiah’s leadership could be rendered ineffective. Hanging the doors, the work which yet remained, was a difficult task . These doors would have to be custom-made; heavy scaffolding would have to be put into place. The work wasn’t finished yet; there might still be time to ruin it, at least in part. And so they make what looks like a political concession speech: “Nehemiah, it’s no use pretending that we haven’t been opposed to your project—we have. But you have succeeded in spite of us, and now there is no use to carry on our opposition. ( REMEMBER SATAN'S 2ND STRATEGY- FLATTERY) Let’s meet for a summit conference to figure out how.” THIS AMY have sounded reasonable—but Nehemiah saw through it all. He understood what their intent was: “to harm me!”he knew that the Ono plain, a full day’s travel from Jerusalem, was on the edge of Samaria and Ashdod (and remember, we said a few weeks back that Jerusalem was literally surrounded by enemies). Violence could easily be arranged , and could even be blamed on an accident .
In her book, “A Practical Guide to Prayer,” Dorothy Haskins tells about a noted concert violinist who was asked the secret of her mastery of the instrument. This is what she said, “There are many things that used to demand my time. When I went to my room after breakfast, I made my bed, straightened the room, dusted, and did whatever seemed necessary. When I finished my work, I turned to my violin practice. That system prevented me from accomplishing what I should on the violin. So I reversed things. I deliberately planned to neglect everything else until my practice period was complete. And that program of planned neglect is the secret to my success.”SHE PLANNED AND PRIORITIZED- PLAN YOUR WORK, WORK YOUR PLAN.