Summary: This is the 7th sermon in the series "Rebuilding". When you are rebuilding, the enemy will try to distract you from what matters.
Series: Rebuilding [#7]
There are many in this room who would say that I have A.D.D. You have come to this conclusion because I am easily distracted. Thus, the reason for me doing 10 different things at 1 time and finishing none of them. Some of us are more easily distracted than others; but we can all be distracted at times.
Nehemiah 6:1 (NIV)
“When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it- though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates-“
The wall was completed, but the gates were not yet up. The city was still vulnerable to attack; but not for much longer. The enemy knew that and had to do something quickly before their opportunity was gone.
Nehemiah 6:2-4 (NIV)
“Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.” But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.”
The enemy tries to…
1. Draw us out from where we are secure.
This message looked innocent, but Nehemiah knew that if he went to Ono he would end up dead. The same works for us. Satan tries to get us to stray away from God and His Word. That’s when we are the most vulnerable.
Nehemiah 6:5-9 (NIV)
“Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter in which was written: “It is reported among the nations- and Geshem says it is true- that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us meet together.” I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.” They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”
The enemy tries to…
2. Destroy our character.
If the enemy can’t draw us out alone to get us, he will try to destroy us through creating doubts in the minds of those we serve with.
Nehemiah 6:10-14 (NIV)
“One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home. He said, “Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you- by night they are coming to kill you.” But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me. Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophet Noadiah and how she and the rest of the prophets have been trying to intimidate me."
The enemy tries to…
3. Draw us into disobedience to God.
The enemy hired Shemaiah to give a false prophecy and get Nehemiah to compromise God’s Word. Nehemiah knew that the Temple wasn’t a hideout or a fort for the fearful.
Nehemiah 6:15-19 (NIV)
“So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God. Also, in those days the nobles of Judah were sending many letters to Tobiah, and replies from Tobiah kept coming to them. For many in Judah were under oath to him, since he was son-in-law to Shekaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah. Moreover, they kept reporting to me his good deeds and then telling him what I said. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.”