Turn to Nehemiah chapter 4
Since the beginning of time, people have fought with each other.
Empires against Empires,
Nations against Nations,
People against People...
A group of historians has compiled the following information:
In the last 5,600 years (since 3600 B.C.), the world has only had 292 years of peace!
During this same period there have been 14,351 wars large and small,
in which 3.64 billion people have been killed.
The value of the property destroyed is equal to a belt of gold around the world 155 ½ km wide and 11 meters thick.
Since 650 B.C., there have also been 1,656 arms races, and 1,640 of them have ended in war.
The remaining 16 ended in the economic collapse of both countries involved.
But there is a war that is not counted in those statistics.
A war that started before time began and is still going on today.
It’s the war between God and Satan.
It’s really no war at all:
God is All-Powerful; Satan’s power is limited.
God is All-Knowing; Satan’s knowledge is limited.
God is Eternal; Satan was created.
God is Everywhere always; Satan can only be in one place at one time (like us).
So Satan really cannot win a fight with God, so he picks on God’s children instead.
Illus: Owner of a business sees profits falling, calls in the manager and yells at him. Manager yells at the secretary. Secretary yells at an employee. Employee yells at the guard. Guard yells at a vendor. Vendor yells at a little boy. Little boy finds a dog and kicks it!
Revelation chapter 12 tells about a war in heaven:
Satan rebels against God, but is defeated by Michael, the Archangel, who throws him down to the earth.
When he gets to the earth, he tries to attack Israel, but God protects them,
So finally, he goes after the Christians.
So, since Satan cannot win a fight with God, he’s picking on us instead.
In Nehemiah chapter 4, we see this struggle between Satan and God’s people.
On Satan’s side are Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Philistines.
On God’s side are Nehemiah and the people of Jerusalem who are trying so hard to rebuild the wall of that city.
We see three attacks against God’s people in this chapter:
The first two attacks were against God’s people back in the time of Nehemiah, found in chapter 4.
The third attack is against us today, because while Satan is not as powerful as God, he is very powerful.
But he’s not very clever: he tends to use the same methods over and over again.
Or maybe he is clever and he’s using the same methods today that he used back then because they still work!
But if God’s people — if we will learn the principles of Satan’s strategy and guard ourselves against similar attacks,
then Satan will have to try something else.
And eventually, if we can learn all his strategies and guard ourselves against them,
then Satan will probably give up and find someone easier to attack.
So, let’s take a look at Satan’s strategies against God’s people in Nehemiah chapter 4:
The First Attack is found in:
Nehemiah 4:1-3 — When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, "What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble— burned as they are?" Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, "What they are building—if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!"
The first attack against God’s people rebuilding the wall was verbal.
Sanballat and his barkada began by mocking the workers in Jerusalem and attacking their confidence:
"What are those feeble Jews doing?"
"Hey! Are you gonna finish that wall today?"
"Nice wall! I hope the wind doesn’t get any stronger!"
Did you ever know someone like this?
A bully in school?
Someone who was always putting others down to make themselves feel bigger?
Does Satan attack you like this?
Someone who doesn’t like you says mean things to you or about you:
Or maybe it’s your own friends or family.
Or maybe they talk about you, but to other people and you just hear about it later.
King David was familiar with the verbal attacks of Satan:
Psalm 64:2-4 — Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from that noisy crowd of evildoers. They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their words like deadly arrows. They shoot from ambush at the innocent man; they shoot at him suddenly, without fear.