NEHEMIAH CH 4
1. THE REALITY OF RIDICULE Note :-
1) The Certainty of Opposition v.1 "But it came to pass"
2) The Characteristics of Opposition
(a) The Source of their Opposition? People..
Sanballat ...The governor of Samaria, Tobiah...Sanballat's hired hand, Geshem...Sanballat's hired gun
These were people close to Jews
(b) The Subtlelty of their Opposition v.1 " 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."
Mockery ..the Word says "laughed us to scorn" False Accusations..."Will Ye rebel against the King???" (c) The Secret of their Opposition Opposition is part of the Christian Walk
God had one sin without sin but not without trial Matt ch 4 v 1 "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil."
3) The Consequence of Opposition
It caused Nehemiah to RE - EVALUATE v.4 " 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:"
His Action was Commenced in Prayer, Confirmed by Providence, Controlled by the Purposes of God v.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."
It caused Nehemiah to RE - AFFIRM v.6 "So built we the wall;"
He had Called for action, He had Committed to that action, He had Counted on that action
It caused Nehemiah to RE - COMMIT v.6 "So built we the wall;" James ch 1 v 2 " My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
2. THE REACTION TO RIDICULE
I. HE RECOGNIZED HIS DANGERS A. They Fought Criticism -V. 1-3
B. They Fought Conspiracy - V. 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."
1 Pet. 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"
C. They Fought Complaints -V. 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."
D. They Fought Confrontation 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.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."
II. HE RELIED ON HIS DEITY
A.The Leaders Prayed - V. 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."
Jer. 33:3 "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."
B.The Laborers Prayed - V. 9 "Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them."
Phil. 4:6-7 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
III. HE RESPONDED TO HIS DUTY
A. They Were United In The Process Of The Work -V. 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."
Phil. 1:27 "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;"
B. They Were United In The Protection Of The Work - V. 9 "Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them."
While they ALL worked, they also ALL watched!