Nehemiah 4: Lessons from Nehemiah on Defending Against Satan’s Spiritual Warfare Attacks

Introduction: King Artaxerxes Longimanus I of Persia issued an edict that allowed the Jews to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 2:8). Thus, in Nehemiah 4, the Jews’ enemies resorted to psychological warfare to try to stop them from rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls. Some of the most successful and ruthless military leaders throughout time have recorded how psychological warfare plays a vital role in the success of any battle. In the book the Art of War, the famous Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu advised that “One need not destroy one’s enemy. One need only destroy his willingness to engage.” Likewise, Napoleon Bonaparte once said “There are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the mind.” Mao Zedong, the man who ruthlessly unified China under Communist rule, also remarked that: “The mind of the enemy and the will of his leaders is a target of far more importance than the bodies of his troops.” Satan follows the same tactics whenever you step out in faith to do God’s will. Today, he does not use physical weapons (2 Cor. 10:4). Instead, he uses psychological warfare to stop you. By studying his use of psychological warfare to stop the Jews from rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls, God reveals seven lessons on how to stand firm when doing His will in the face of Satan’s spiritual warfare attacks. These include: (1) preparation, (2) prayer, (3) faith, (4) dependence, (5) encouragement, (6) Spirit-led unity, and (7) perseverance.

First, Sanballat and Tobiah, the leaders of the opposition, mocked and discouraged the Jews to try to thwart their rebuilding efforts. Discouragement is one of Satan’s most effective tools. When you do Jesus’ work, you should always expect that Satan will try to discourage you. If you fail to prepare for it, he may succeed in causing you to give up. Second, in the face of these attacks, Nehemiah showed himself to be a Spirit-led leader by immediately turning to God in prayer. When Satan attacks you, you should also turn to Jesus in prayer for protection. Third, when discouragement failed, Sanballat and Tobiah united the Jews’ enemies in a conspiracy against them. When you serve Jesus, you should also expect the world to hate you and conspire against you. When this happens, you should put your faith in Jesus for the strength to fight on. Fourth, the constant threat of attacks caused the Jews to grow weary. Satan’s attacks can also cause you to grow weary. When you feel weary, let Jesus be the source of your strength. Fifth, when the Jews grew weary, Nehemiah again showed himself to be a Spirit-led leader by encouraging the Jews. When Satan discourages members of the Body of Christ, Jesus calls upon the Body to encourage one another. Sixth, to protect the Jews, Nehemiah organized the Jews to guard against attack while they rebuilt the walls. When Satan threatens you, find protection in the Body of Christ. When the Holy Spirit guides the Body and the Church acts with one accord, its members will find protection from Satan’s attacks. Finally, Nehemiah inspired the Jews to persevere in their building. When Satan attacks, you should also persevere in serving Jesus. When Satan’s spiritual warfare attacks knock you down, Jesus can empower you to carry on.

1. Preparation: When You Do Jesus’ Work, Expect Satan’s Discouragement. Neh. 4:1-3.

  • The Jews’ enemies mocked the Jews to try to discourage them. Because Sanballat and Tobiah could not turn to the Persians to stop the Jews’ rebuilding work, they instead resorted to insults and mocking to try to discourage the Jews: “1 Now it came about that when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry, and he mocked the Jews. And he spoke in the presence of his brothers and the wealthy people of Samaria and said, ‘What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore the temple for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish it in a day? Can they revive the stones from the heaps of rubble, even the burned ones?’ Now Tobiah the Ammonite was near him, and he said, ‘Even what they are building—if a fox were to jump on it, it would break their stone wall down!” (Neh. 4:1-3). Sanballat was a Samarian. He sought to prevent the Jews from rebuilding because he saw them as a threat to the hybrid religion that the Samarians had created. Only a small number of Jews had returned from captivity. Thus, he mocked their ability to rebuild the walls. Tobiah was an Ammonite with historic animosities toward the Jews. He mocked their ability to rebuild walls when the walls were so low to the ground and in such a weakened state.

Sanballat conspired with Tobiah and Samaritans and mocked the Jews1

  • The Jews’ opponents previously tried to mock and discourage them. This was not the first time that Sanballat and Tobiah used mocking to try to discourage the Jews. When Nehemiah first came to Jerusalem under King Artaxerxes’ authority, they also mocked the Jews: “But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard it, they mocked us and despised us and said, ‘What is this thing you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?”’ (Neh. 2:19). Nehemiah was a wise leader because he studied his enemy and prepared for their predictable methods of attack.

  • David’s enemies also mocked him. Throughout the Bible, Satan shows how he uses the same techniques of spiritual warfare to try to prevent believers from doing God’s will. For example, David lamented how his enemies sneered at him as well. “All who see me sneer at me; they separate with the lip, they wag the head, . . . I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me;” (Ps. 22:7, 17). “Our soul is greatly filled with the scoffing of those who are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.” (Ps. 79:4).

  • The Jews’ enemies also mocked them when they rebuilt the Temple. During the reign of Cyrus II, the Temple opponents also acted under Satan’s influence to cause the Jews to become “discouraged” “and frightened.” (Ezra 4:4). The opponents also bribed officials to thwart their efforts (Ezra 4:5). During the reign of King Ahasuerus, aka Xerxes I, they made accusations against the Jews (Ezra 4:6). During the reign of Artaxerxes I, they united in a conspiracy against the Jews (Ezra 4:7-10). As part of their conspiracy, they used lies and half-truths to convince King Artaxerxes I to stop the Temple rebuilding (Ezra 4:11-16). King Artaxerxes I believed these lies and responded by issuing his first decree to stop all Temple work (Ezra 4:17-22). With his decree, the opponents then used Persian soldiers to stop all rebuilding work (Ezra 4:23-24). Thus, from 536 B.C. until 520 B.C., all work on the Temple ceased. Nehemiah was well aware of these attacks.

  • Jesus’ enemies also mocked Him. As He hung on the cross, Jesus’ enemies also heaped ridicule on Him: “And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, ‘He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”’ (Lk. 23:35). Thus, discouragement is one of Satan’s most frequently used tools. He continues to use it because so few believers prepare for it.

  • Satan also uses discouragement and fear to try to stop your work for Jesus. Satan is “the accuser of our brethren” (Rev. 12:10). He has always used discouragement and fear to try to silence God’s people. The Bible warns believers to not be “ignorant of his schemes.” (2 Cor. 2:11). One commentator notes that: “Like most attacks of discouragement, there is a trace of truth in the words of the enemy. As builders, the Jews were feeble. They would not complete it in a day. They didn't have the best materials to work with. A lying, discouraging attack will often have some truth in it, but it will neglect the great truth: God was with them and has promised to see them through . . . Discouragement is such a powerful weapon because it is somewhat the opposite of faith. Where faith believes God and His love and promises, discouragement looks for and believes the worst - and tends to pretty much forget about who God is and what He has promised to do.” (David Guzik on Nehemiah 4).2 If you fail to prepare for Satan’s attacks, he is likely to try to make you feel discouraged when trying to serve Jesus. He may tell you that you are a failure. He may tell you that no one cares about you or what you do. Or, he may confront you with your prior forgiven sins and condemn you. If you believe him, Satan will win, and you are likely to give up. Thus, unless you expect to receive mocking, and discouragement, you will be unprepared for Satan’s spiritual warfare attacks. If you prepare, like Nehemiah did, Satan’s attacks against you will fail.

2. Prayer: When Satan Attacks You, Turn to Jesus in Prayer for Protection. Neh. 4:4-6.

  • Nehemiah turned to God to protect the Jews from the enemy’s discouragement. Because he was doing God’s work, Nehemiah laid the Jews’ burdens from the attacks at God’s feet: “Hear, O our God, how we are an object of contempt! Return their taunting on their own heads, and turn them into plunder in a land of captivity. Do not forgive their guilt and do not let their sin be wiped out before You, for they have demoralized the builders. So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.” (Neh. 4:4-6). Nehemiah viewed the enemy’s attacks as being directed against God and His will. Thus, he asked God to apply the just penalty that His enemies deserved for trying to stop His will from happening.

When he was attached, Nehemiah always turned to God in prayer3

  • Cry out to God when others treat you with contempt. Nehemiah cried out for God to protect the Jews from the contempt and taunting of the enemy (Neh. 4:4). David also cried out to God when his enemies scoffed and showed contempt for him: “Be gracious to us, O LORD, be gracious to us, for we are greatly filled with contempt. Our soul is greatly filled with the scoffing of those who are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.” (Ps. 123:3-4). “Take away reproach and contempt from me, for I observe Your testimonies.” (Ps. 119:22). Through the prophet Ezekiel, God promised to remove the reproach of His people: “Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel and say to the mountains and to the hills, to the ravines and to the valleys, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and in My wrath because you have endured the insults of the nations.”’’ (Ezek. 36:6). God offers you the same shield of protection.

  • Let God avenge you when you are wronged. Nehemiah did not try to fight back against the Jews’ enemies or return their insults. Instead, he pleaded with God to avenge the wrongs perpetrated against God’s plans (Neh. 4:6). Jeremiah gave a similar prayer: “Yet You, O LORD, know all their deadly designs against me; do not forgive their iniquity or blot out their sin from Your sight. But may they be overthrown before You; deal with them in the time of Your anger!” (Jer. 18:23). God also wants you to let Him avenge the wrongs against you: “Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’; wait for the LORD, and He will save you.” (Prov. 20:22). “Let all their wickedness come before You; and deal with them as You have dealt with me for all my transgressions; for my groans are many and my heart is faint.” (Lam. 1:22). “How long, O God, will the adversary revile, and the enemy spurn Your name forever? . . . “And return to our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom the reproach with which they have reproached You, O Lord.” (Ps. 79:10, 12).

  • Let the Holy Spirit give you a “mind of Christ” when you are attacked. God heard Nehemiah’s prayers. Yet, instead of changing the Jews’ enemy, He strengthened “the people” and gave them a “mind to work.” (Neh. 4:6). The Holy Spirit had also previously stirred up the people’s hearts and gave them the mind to build the Temple: “So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,” (Haggai 1:14). “[T]hen Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak arose and began to rebuild the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them supporting them.” (Ezra 5:2). Through the Holy Spirit, believers can also have the mind of Christ. This includes “being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” (Phil. 2:2). Such a mind does not act out of “selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility”. It also makes you elevate the needs of others “as more important than yourselves.” (Phil. 2:3-5). Having the mind of Christ is so important that believers are urged to renew their minds each day to keep their focus on Jesus (Ro. 12:1-2). When you feel discouraged or unmotivated to work, are you praying for the mind of Christ to fight on for Him?

3. Faith: When Your Enemies Conspire Against You, Have Faith in Jesus. Neh. 4:7-8.

  • The Jews’ enemies conspired to attack them when their insults failed to stop them. Because God’s Spirit had strengthened the Jews in the face of the enemy’s insults, Sanballat and Tobiah formed a conspiracy with various pagan peoples to attack the Jews: “Now when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches began to be closed, they were very angry. So all of them conspired together to come to fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it.” (Neh. 4:7-8). The Jews were surrounded with enemies. The Arabs were to their south, the Ammonites were to their east, the Samaritans to their north, and the Ashdodites (descendants from the Philistines) were to their west. Even if Sanballat and Tobiah could not launch an actual attack, they still hoped their coalition would create “confusion” amongst the Jews (Neh. 7:8). The Jews’ progress in closing the breaches in the walls motivated the enemy to act before it was too late. Even though the Jews had Persian approval to rebuild, the enemy calculated that they could make up lies about the Jews if they could act quickly to destroy them.

Nehemiah faced a united enemy from almost every direction4

  • Satan frequently influenced the Jews’ enemies to conspire against them. The psalmist also complained that God’s enemies were conspiring against God’s people: “They make shrewd plans against Your people, and conspire together against Your treasured ones.” (Ps. 83:3). “For my enemies have spoken against me; and those who watch for my life have consulted together,” (Ps. 71:10). “For I have heard the slander of many, terror is on every side; while they took counsel together against me, they schemed to take away my life.” (Ps. 31:13). The Jews’ enemies also conspired against them when they rebuilt the Temple (Ezra 4:7-10). Throughout history, Satan has fueled the flames of anti-Semitism.

  • Satan also influenced Jesus’ enemies to conspire against Him. Satan also caused Jesus’ enemies to turn against Him: “Now when morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus to put Him to death;” (Matt. 27:1). Satan turned Judas against Jesus, and he caused the disciples to initially abandon Jesus.

  • Satan will also cause the world to hate you. When you step out to serve Jesus, you should also expect others to hate you: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” (Jo. 15:18). “Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.” (1 Jo. 3:13). “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” (Jo. 17:14). If you find people turning on you when you serve Jesus, know that Satan considers you a threat.

  • When Satan turns people against you, fight discouragement with faith. It is easy to tell someone to ignore attacks. It is a harder thing to actually do that. Jesus does not expect believers to have superhuman thick skin in the face of attacks. Instead, like Nehemiah and David, Jesus wants you to cry out in faith to Him. “And looking at them Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”’ (Matt. 19:26). If people are united against you, are you crying out in faith to Jesus for help?

  • With faith, God can also fight your battles for you as well: Whenever the Jews had faith and did God’s will, God promised to protect them: “The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.” (Ex. 14:14). “The LORD your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes,” (Dt. 1:30). ‘“Do not fear them, for the LORD your God is the one fighting for you.”’ (Dt. 3:22). “One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you.” (Josh. 23:10). If you have faith, God will protect you as well.

4. Dependence: When You Feel Discouraged, Let Jesus be Your Strength. Neh. 4:9-10.

  • Nehemiah again turned to God when the Jews’ resolve weakened with doubt. In addition to countering the threat of an enemy’s plan, Nehemiah turned to God in prayer when the Jews’ resolve weakened: “But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night. 10 And so in Judah it was said: ‘The strength of the burden bearers is failing, yet there is much rubble; and we ourselves are unable to rebuild the wall.’” (Neh. 4:9-10). While watching for the enemy, the Jews had to cart off debris that had accumulated since 586 B.C., for more than 100 years. Because some needed to stand watch, this reduced the number of laborers. This in turn caused the people to grow tired. Nehemiah now faced both internal as well as external threats.

  • The effective fervent prayer of the righteous can accomplish great things. Nehemiah prayed to God in the face of the enemy’s attacks and the Jews’ depleted strength (Neh. 4:9). He continually prayed for God’s protection (Neh. 1:6; 1:11; 2:4; 4:4; 5:19; 6:9, 14; 13:14). God also wants you to fervently pray when you are under attack: “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.” (Ps. 50:15). “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (Ja. 5:16).

  • Be vigilant in preparing for the enemy’s attacks. Nehemiah “set up a guard against them day and night.” (Neh. 4:9). Faith and prayer does not relieve a believer from taking action. Faith and prayer merely guide your actions to allow God to protect you. The Holy Spirit will also guide you in how to pray for His help: “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;” (Col. 4:2). “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.” (1 Pet. 5:8-9). “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (Jam. 4:7). Are you watching your circumstances for areas when the enemy may attack you?

  • Depend upon Jesus for your strength. The Jews lacked the strength to both build and protect themselves. Their only hope was to depend upon God for strength. “My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Your word.” (Ps. 119:28). “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (1 Pet. 5:10). If you feel weary or lacking strength, pray for Jesus to strengthen you to fight on.

5. Encouragement: When Satan Discourages, Encourage One Another. Neh. 4:11-14.

  • Nehemiah encouraged the Jews to have faith in the face of the enemy’s planned attack. Because the Jews were filled with fear in the face of the enemy’s planned attack, Nehemiah encouraged the Jews to have faith in God to protect them: “11 And our enemies said, ‘They will not know or see until we come among them, kill them, and put a stop to the work.’ 12 When the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times, ‘They will come up against us from every place where you may turn,’ 13 then I stationed men in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, the exposed places, and I stationed the people in families with their swords, spears, and bows. 14 When I saw their fear, I stood and said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people: ‘Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.’” (Neh. 4:11-14). The enemies gave false reports to the Jews living outside of Jerusalem so that they would spread rumors and create fear (Neh. 4:12) “Much of the opposition to the project consisted of psychological warfare . . . Apparently the enemies were spreading rumors of attack to dishearten the people (cf. Josephus, Ant., 11.175). ‘Ten times over’ would suggest that these enemies constantly reiterated the rumors so the people in the villages would pass them on to their friends in Jerusalem.” (Mervin Breneman, The New American Commentary, Vol. 10, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (B&H Publishing Group 1993) p. 193, 197). Nehemiah showed himself to be a great leader by encouraging the Jews to have faith and persevere.

Nehemiah encouraged the Jews to trust God and persevere5

Never fear your spiritual enemy when you do God’s will6

  • God’s prophets previously used encouragement to defeat Satan’s discouragement. When the Temple construction stopped due to discouragement, God sent His prophets Haggai and Zechariah to urge the Jews and their leaders Zerubbabel and Jeshua, to “take courage” and finish God’s calling to rebuild the Temple (Hag. 2:4). Satan always uses the same attacks. You can prepare yourself for his attacks by finding brothers and sisters in Christ who will encourage and pray for you when you feel defeated or discouraged.

  • Encourage others to have faith in the face of adversity. Nehemiah previously responded to similar attacks by encouraging the Jews to have faith: ‘“The God of heaven will make us successful;”’ (Neh. 2:20). Here, he again encouraged the Jews to not be afraid and to keep their thoughts on God. They would also need to be ready to fight with one accord: “‘Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.’” (Neh. 4:11-14). Believers are commanded to encourage each other: “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” (1 Thess. 5:11). “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” (Eph. 4:29). When you encourage others to have faith, you give them the strength to fight on: “I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies and of the son of man who is made like grass,” (Is. 51:12). David was a hero of the faith because he encouraged others not to fear their enemies: “The LORD is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Ps. 118:6; 56:4; Heb. 13:6). Paul also encouraged believers to trust in God’s power: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Ro. 8:31). Are you encouraging others who feel depressed or defeated? Do you have others to encourage you to fight on?

  • Encourage others to be alert for the enemy’s attacks. Because Satan is always looking for the opportunity to attack you, the Bible encourages believers to always: “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (1 Cor. 16:13). “Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the LORD.” (Ps. 31:24). “Then I said to you, ‘Do not be shocked, nor fear them.”’ (Dt. 1:29; 31:6; Nu. 14:9). “Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.” (Ps. 27:14). “Be strong, and let us show ourselves courageous for the sake of our people and for the cities of our God; and may the LORD do what is good in His sight.” (2 Sam. 10:12). If you are feeling afraid in the face of an attack, turn to Jesus.

6. Unity: When Satan Threatens You, Find Protection in the Body of Christ. Neh. 4:15-20.

  • Nehemiah organized the Jews’ defenses upon learning of the enemy’s planned attacks. Because the Jews put their faith in God and did not become discouraged, Nehemiah was able to organize the Jews and frustrate the enemy’s plans to attack: “15 Now when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work. 16 And from that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them kept hold of the spears, the shields, the bows, and the coats of mail; and the captains were behind all the house of Judah. 17 Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens carried with one hand doing the work, and the other keeping hold of a weapon. 18 As for the builders, each wore his sword strapped to his waist as he built, while the trumpeter stood near me. 19 And I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, ‘The work is great and extensive, and we are separated on the wall far from one another. 20 At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, assemble to us there. Our God will fight for us.’” (Neh. 4:15-20). The Jews’ enemies tried to create confusion amongst the Jews (Neh. 4:8). Instead, the Jews’ Spirit-led preparation caused them to become confused. Nehemiah organized the Jews to prevent any further attempts to attack them. A “trumpeter” (Neh. 4:18) stood watch ready to summon the others while the builders finished their building tasks.

The Jews worked together in rebuilding the walls7

  • God fulfilled His promise to defend Jerusalem. Nehemiah recorded that it was God who thwarted the enemy’s attack (Neh. 4:15). Through the prophet Zechariah, God promised to protect Jerusalem from attack: “In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the LORD before them.” (Zech. 12:8). By thwarting the enemy, God showed His faithfulness to keep His promises.

  • Let the Spirit guide you as you serve the Body of Christ. When the Jews previously succeeded in rebuilding the Temple, “the people gathered together as one man.” (Ezra 3:1). Under Nehemiah’s Spirit-led leadership, the Jews again gather together as one to finish the wall before their enemy could strike. As a believer, you are also called upon to work together under Spirit-led unity: “so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Ro. 12:5). “Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.” (1 Cor. 10:17). “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.” (1 Cor. 12:12). “But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; or again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’” (1 Cor. 12:20-21). “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;” (Eph. 4:4). Are you working together with others for the greater good of the Body of Christ?

7. Perseverance: When Satan Attacks, Persevere in Serving Jesus. Neh. 4:21-23.

  • Under Nehemiah’s leadership, the Jews persevered in their rebuilding efforts. With faith in God’s protection, the Jews worked together to continue the rebuilding process: “21 So we carried on the work with half of them holding spears from dawn until the stars appeared. 22 At that time I also said to the people, ‘Each man with his servant shall spend the night within Jerusalem, so that they may be a guard for us by night and a laborer by day.’ 23 So neither I, my brothers, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me—none of us removed our clothes; each took his weapon even to the water.” (Neh. 4:21-23). The Jews worked with great diligence, even into the night (Neh. 4:22). By working together, the actual building took only 52 days to complete (Neh. 6:15).

Under armed guard, the Jews persevered in rebuilding the walls8

  • Let God use your trials to build up the perseverance of your faith. God tested the Jews with these trials so that they would learn to place their faith in Him. Your trials should also produce perseverance and endurance: “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;” (Ro. 5:3). “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” (Jam. 1:2-3). Paul faced a harder trial when he faced death in Asia. But he advised that God put him through trials so that he would rely upon Him and not his own strength (2 Cor. 1:8-10). Are you turning to Jesus to build up your faith so that you can persevere in the face of trials?