Summary: When we set about to fulfill God's vision Satan will also attack us from within.
A preachers son graduated from high school and the preacher kept asking his son what he was going to do? Go to college or maybe go onto the service. He kept asking his son, but he just could not make up his mind! One day while his son was out, he decided to perform a simple test. He went into his sons room and put 3 items on his desk
A Bible, a silver dollar, and a fifth of whiskey.
The pastor thought if he picks up the Bible he will be a preacher like me. If he picks up the silver dollar he will be a business man I he picks up the fifth of whiskey he will be a drunken sot!
He heard his son coming, so he hid behind the door to see what his son would do. His son looked at the three items, he picked up the Bible and put it under his arm. Then he picked up the silver dollar and put it in his pocket. Then he picked up the fifth of whiskey and took a drink!
The preacher said OH Lord no, my son is going to be a Senator
Anyone who as followed politics has plenty of stories of people who are not what they appear to be. But the ugly truth is that anyone who lives among people also has those stories. Sadly sometimes we might even be someone else’s example of it. As we look at the story of Nehemiah, even he could not escape this problem. Is it any wonder then that Satan our enemy uses the same tactic? Look at 2 Corinthians 11:14, “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angle of light.”
It’s not that Satan becomes good, he just appears that way to lead people astray, when all of the external attacks have failed then he tries to attack from within. We’re coming to the end of the series from Nehemiah now. We’ve walked through reasons for exile and the importance of vision. Last week we talked about how we have a supernatural enemy and when we try to do things for God we should expect to be opposed supernaturally. The interesting thing about the opposition was that they claimed that the children of Israel were weak when in fact they were strong. How do we know that even their enemies knew they were strong, because when it came time to attack all of their enemies wanted to go together or not at all. They were too afraid to attack on their own. Then when they realized that a sneak attack wasn’t going to happen they decided to try and infiltrate the ranks and attack from within. When that plan got ruled out they stopped trying for a while.
So now we come to chapter 6, the walls are almost complete. But notice, that although the task was almost complete the opposition didn’t end. Look at verse 1, “Now 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.)” Notice the walls are up, the gates are up, they don’t have doors in the yet but the gates are up. The city is almost complete, it is now a defensible position. The enemy is frustrated, he is basically defeated but he doesn’t give up. He just shifts tactics, if he can’t strike down all of the people, he will pick them off as individuals starting with their leader.
Understand, at this point things begin to get personal. The enemy is no longer trying to win, he is just trying to inflict pain and cause damage and heart break. You want to know why bad things happen in the world? Because we have an enemy who has lost, so now he just wants to inflict as much pain on everyone he can as possible. Whether that makes sense to us, this is his history to, he as done it before he will do it again, and will continue doing it until Jesus comes and casts him into a lake of fire forever. The good news is, that day is coming. Jesus wins and we get to go to the victory party.
Notice something else, the more success Nehemiah had the more opposition he faced. When he shows up to build the wall, there is Sanballat, to mock him, lie about him and oppose him. When he recruits teammates and the people catch the vision and begin to build, Sanballat is joined by Tobiah, now that the wall is almost done, it’s Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem. Every step he takes down the road to success just brings more opposition, but the greater the opposition the greater the victory. Do you think we would be studying Nehemiah today if he just got the kings approval to build Jerusalem and then went and built the thing with now problems. No, the problems from the enemy are what made the accomplishment great.