Summary: 10 times their own people sought to discourage them. The need to fight discouragement, especially when its the "burden bearers," who are in trouble. The burden bearers are those who usually do the work.
Last week we preached on Handling dirty laundry. We said that one dictionary says that the name Sanballat means: sin has given life to. Sin will give life to condemnation, discouragement, alienation etc. The cure is twofold: Stop sinning, and 2. learn how to deal with your dirty laundry, your and others: wash it. And remember: God treated Jesus on the cross as if He lived your life, so that He could treat you as if you lived Jesus life.
Today I want to bring my second dissed message from the book of Nehemiah. The first was dis-ease, and if you remember I used the illustration of using your left hand, (weak hand) how it produces feelings of awkwardness, and uncomfortableness, and we are prone to want to go back and do things the old way. The purpose is so that we can become like David’s mighty warriors and be able to use a sling with either hand. Even so God used people with no building experience to build the walls of Jerusalem. Goldsmith’s perfumers, priests, and politicians. They had to learn how to overcome feelings of dis-ease
Today I want to talk about how to overcome feelings of discouragement.
Discouragement is a tool the enemy uses to turn progress into retreat.
It is used as a tool of leverage to move someone towards quitting, resigning, bailing on a marriage, and the ultimate quitting is suicide.
One of the reasons it is so powerful a weapon is because we are extremely susceptible to it and it is highly contagious.
If you pitch an idea or dream to someone, and with a laughing type attitude they simply say, "Yeah right",
it could throw you into a fit of discouragement, and make you want to give up your idea.
2 Key verses for today: Nehemiah 4:10, and 6:9
Ne 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.
Ne 6:9 For all of them were [trying] to frighten us, thinking, "They will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done." But now, [O God,] strengthen my hands.
Also we will read Nehemiah 4:7-15
Ne 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].
2 Causes of their discouragement
1. They were worn out.
Spiritually and physically.
This happened in the middle of their project.
Ne 4:5 Do not forgive their iniquity and let not their sin be blotted out before Thee, for they have demoralized the builders.
Ne 4:6 So we built the wall and the whole wall was joined together to half its [height,] for the people had a mind to work.
The wall was half built. Initial enthusiasm would have worn off, and the enormity of the task ahead that would have to face without the enthusiasm that got them started.
Reminds me of Ezekiel 37 - he was set down in the middle of the valley and all he could see in every direction was dead bones. You are most susceptible to discouragement in the middle of a project, because at the beginning you have starters enthusiasm, and at the end you have finishers enthusiasm. Think about college, those of you who have gone there. Freshmen year you have a lot of enthusiasm as you start your journey, Senior year you are excited and motivated because the finish line is in sight. It is in the middle of that journey that many give up and quit. Sophomore and Junior years are the hardest, in the same way in the middle of the battle it is the hardest.
A. They were under constant spiritual attack:
Water can wear down mountains. The Jews were attacked over and over again. Continued attacks can wear out the best of men. I want to show you some verse that show this continuous attack, but also remind you that one of the things the antichrist is said to do is to, "wear out the saints of the most high." Dan 7:25
Look at all theses verses that show the continual harassment they had from the enemy:
Ezr 4:4 Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building.
Ne 2:10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard [of it], it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.
Ne 2:19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard [it], they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What [is] this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?