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November 19, 2019 12:00 am
No kind of life stays at times that the hard labor of building up your life. Building a marriage, building a family, building a church building a reputation that cares about unbelievers in your testimony to them. Build one piece of the time as you build a path to them. Build in such a way that when there are phases of completion those around you have to say have to be brought to the conclusion can only define us in terms of a sovereign involvement of our God felt mature service for God was being if you're involved in doing anything good for the kingdom of God. Satan wants to stop. He has several tactics that he uses to do just that.
One of the schemes and tactics that Satan uses his false rumors designed to discredit you and the work you're doing. It happened to Nehemiah everywhere he turned Satan tried to prevent him from rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem today on wisdom for the heart. Stephen Davey takes us to Nehemiah 6 where we see the latest attack. The attack of false rumors.
The piece of armor as we have tried to relate what Nehemiah was going through with the believers own battles in the armor that we are to where there is one piece that doesn't seem to get much headlines are much press. It is a piece of armor known as the helmet of salvation is that helmet that protects our minds is at work. It is that helmet which must be employed when we are assaulted in one of these three areas. We need to think correctly when the think biblically we need to think theologically in reflecting upon meditating upon considering the truces of the redemption and how they relate us to each of the three persons of the Godhead are part of this weaponry that causes us to stand against the Lors of the red Dragon who will come along and say, you really don't belong. You really do not have value and you really can't pull that off. Nehemiah will face his most difficult battles because they are primarily battles that will require biblical thinking one author commenting on this chapter. There were about to look at said that this was a battle of nerves so it was let's find out why Nehemiah chapter 6, verse one, that when it was reported to send ballots to buyer to Gresham the Arab and to the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and the no breach remain in it, although at that time I not set up the doors and its gates and sand ballot and got him sent a message to me saying come, let us meet together in chef Rheem in the plane. Amano but they were planning to harm me. So I sent messengers to them, saying, I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you. They send messages to me four times in this manner, and I answered them in the same way, did you notice from verse one. The timing of this attempt basically to create confusion will see how verse one tells us that the walls are finished. There's no breach, no hall and no easy passageway for the enemy. However, the gates have not yet been hung in other words, it's the last possible moment for the enemy to stop the work before those massive gates are hung which can be closed and locked.
It's also the best time perhaps to approach Nehemiah with some Laura because perhaps now more than ever. He could feel somewhat self-confident that the project is going to be completed and he could let his guard down and slip into this trap in the request from his enemies comes in this form of a polite invitation to begin dialoguing together come, let us meet in Ono, which happened to be, by the way, an oasis it was fertile land with trees and water. Another Loring saying about this particular invitation.
It's as if they were saying on Nehemiah we know we've been dogging your heels for minds.
But let's get together and talk it over and let's meet over there in that oasis. What you say let's just relax together for a few days. Four times they asked if he wanted all expenses paid vacation to the Ono resort and conference Center and four times. Nehemiah said the same thing. No no no no. While it looks good on the outside and he ran the risk of appearing cold and and and hard lesson not necessarily interested in keeping peace by refusing their invitation. He knew he discern while it seemed no one else did, that they were trying to trick him. So on the outside it looked like they wanted to get together. People must've been confused as to why he would go along with it, but he knew that it was just a fašade. They didn't want to make amends. They don't want to talk it over. They didn't really want to reach an agreement that's that's been happening in the Middle East for centuries, but underneath his Nehemiah writes in his diary the latter part of verse two. They were planning to harm me. So by refusing he risk being interpreted is someone that he wasn't fact, one of the commentators that I have enjoyed reading put this in the form of newspaper articles that could be read.
Had they been written in this day. Here's how it would've seemed the people watching on one newspaper article from Samaritan sources.
It is learned, the governor Nehemiah due to his again turned down the invitation of sand ballot head of the district of Samaria to come to the village of Ono for a conference of the big 4gauge new leader of the Edomites to buy a leader of the Ammonite sand ballot.
Nehemiah sand ballot issued an announcement today in which he sharply criticized Nehemiah for his repeated refusal to appear at such a meeting.
The purpose of which according the sand ballot was to simply adjust the relations among these rulers and bring about peace in the area. For reasons known only to God. Nehemiah was able to discern that this was a trap.
They wanted and down there so they could kill him and his answer four times the cut right to the chase was a very simple answer no, no, no, no. Now if I had been asked by these men. I try to think what I would've said I think after the first one I would've said no. After the second one that's interesting learned they asked me twice the persisting. Maybe there's some good here. No, no third request we know it is in the fertile region of Ono and it is a resort to maybe I can start a Bible study over there is a ministry will know better to do that for well see four times. No no no no, by the way, that's a wonderful word to learn how to say you need to say no more often to your children need to say no more often to television commercials you need to say no more often to temptation. You need to say no more often to the shopping mall men. Men need to say no more often to the golf course, a man soprano said that was practicing a little word together will keep you out of a lot of trouble ready on the count of 3123 no state again, louder, will you listen to temptation's voice this week we live for yourself this week. Verse five then sand ballot sent his servant to me in the same manner for time with an open letter in the sand and it was written.
It is reported among the nations engaged news as it where he was you and the Jews are planning to rebel.
Therefore, you are rebuilding the wall and you are to be their king.
According to these reports. You have also appointed prophets to proclaim in Jerusalem concerning you at King's and Judah, and now it will be reported to the king, according to these reports, so come now, let us take counsel together. In other words, we cannot trick Nehemiah so let's discredit him.
This was an attempt to create a scandal.
Let's tell everybody that that Nehemiah is rebuilding the wall only because he wants to be the king.
Let's attribute his passion and desire to wrong motives, but still and that he simply wants to follow in David's footsteps and sit upon the throne of Jerusalem and this was a bombshell of a letter. It started a rumor that could destroy the credibility of Nehemiah and that, ladies and gentlemen, was the point that was their hope we can you imagine how the news here would rifle through the Nehemiah just wants to be the king. There would be some there was a well. I can't believe it, but I can believe it. Frankly, the more interesting the gossip ladies and gentlemen, the more believable it seemed.
And the faster it will travel there is something about all of us that causes us to listen and believe anything that is whispered to and if you want to get somebody's attention. All you have to do is say, have you heard and you have their undivided attention began with now here's something confidential, you will guarantee you will not be by saying those words, but once it's out it's out. Many times the damage is irretrievably done and as one man wrote commenting on Nehemiah chapter 6 trying to squash a rumor is like trying to unring a bell. My friends, if you have ever been on the other end of a rumor or if others have gossiped about you and you know that it is not been true, learn from Nehemiah's example look at verse eight. Here's his response. Then I sent a message to him saying such things as you are saying have not been done, but you are inventing them in your own mind. Not the listen. There are 10 reasons why you're wrong. I want to give you those 10 reasons and write a long letter, or I can explain why some of those misguided prophets out there are telling people that I want to be the king. They just they see prophecy and everything and they wanted king. And so they assume Manton so there I have not hired them in and in. Here's my checkbook blog. I haven't made any payments to them. None of that no self-defense, no self vindication. No long letter in return just simply it's not true.
You've made it up.
And would you notice how he stays focused on the real issue. Look at verse nine.
For all of them were trying to frighten his thinking they will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done now that response set a little gossip spread and many in Jerusalem became suspicious of Nehemiah's motives. In fact, later in this chapter, you'll discover that the leaders of the tribe of Judah actually believe the rumor and the princes of the tribe of Judah will eventually become involved in a correspondence with the enemy. Tobiah and trying to get rid of. There is no insurance policy for word-of-mouth here after being accused of having the seasonal motive and proud ambition. He prays in verse nine.
But now, oh God strengthen my hand so hurt him. You cannot help but notice that he didn't pray about the invitation to come to Ono.
The prayer said no in the earlier chapter, they threaten to come and fight him and he straps on his sword and in effect says come and get me and all the workers put on their swords in the Building but here he was personally attacked in his credibility and character was brought into question. And here you see him pray he is alone and he writes an aside in his journal that he ordered to God those agonizing words.
Oh God, strengthen my hand implication was a sands become weak. The enemies of Nehemiah and the work of God said, let's trick him then let's discredit him but Nehemiah kept on building and so the third attempt was an attempt to create compromise. If we can't trick him if we can't discredit him, then let's tempt him to send verse 10, when I entered the house of Shu Meyer, the son of the lie, the son of the head of Bill who was confined at home. He said let us meet together in the house of God within the temple and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you, and they are coming to kill you at night. Now imagine somebody telling you, there are enemies of yours and I am on the inside track. I've heard the news to kill you, and they're gonna kill you one night. Now try to sleep you'll hear every noise, every rustling branch. Every bark of the dog you'll lie there and terror. This sounded so good. It came from a priest. In fact, if you study further, you discover he was a prophet. The English translation sort of obscures the fact that he said this to Nehemiah in the form of an Oracle. In other words he was saying Nehemiah. I have a word from God they're going to come and kill you in the night, so let's hide out in the temple.
That's the word of God but Nehemiah saw through this phony prophecy, verse 11 but I said to the man like me flee. Could one such as I go into the temple to save his life. I will not go in that I perceive that surely God did not send him but he uttered his prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sandel.
It is hard to imagine a priest on the payroll of the enemies of God, a prophet being paid by the enemies of the work of God. He was hired for this reason that I might become frightened and act accordingly and sin away.
The second sin was it sin for Nehemiah to be afraid hello. Was it sin for Nehemiah to hide out somewhere and I know I've been in the closet somewhere. Not all, but if you look closely you notice that she might propose the highlight of the temple. The original language lets us know that this was actually a reference to the holy place was a place that only priests could go into a person wasn't a priest could never enter the holy place to go in there even though it might mean that he would save his life. He would violate the law of God, and he would send.
So ladies and gentlemen, what were learning here about this man is that he would rather lose his life. Then sin is somebody hard attempted how much sin do we allow into our lives before we become slightly troubled.
Would we rather die than violate the law of God that was true for him.
By the way, this provides great insight on how to determine good counsel from badly give you some things. How do you determine if it's good counsel or bad counsel.
Does the Council violate your character. Love the way Nehemiah just says, should such a man is likely man like me gonna run my can stop what I'm doing and and and go hide something that's not me that's not what I want to be for God would violate my character to does the Council contradict scripture is the word say the Old Testament Scriptures were clear. You did not going to the holy place, unless you are priest. You know much sin occurs within the body of Christ because people take the word and twisted or ignore it or reject it. What does the word of God say third does the Council hinder your commitment was Nehemiah committed to doing fighting for his life or building a wall building wall. Verse 14 he adds as an aside, was diary. Remember, oh my God, Tobias and Sandel according these works of theirs and also Noah died a prophetess in the rest of the prophets were trying to frighten me evidently had division among the prophets of God, some prophets were saying Nehemiah's are amazing to be the next king.
They were misguided good of the prophets were saying was given a Nehemiah he's not so the prophets were divided in some prophet's name Noah diet was right in the mix so we can't trick him. We can't discredit him in the quitting. We can tempt him in the sitting. So let's abandon him.
Let's create another attempt at divisions get done. Verse 17 also in those days, many letters went from the nobles of Judah to tell Byron that you need to understand the postal system is working from inside the city of Jerusalem out to the enemies of God, primarily referenced by toe by for many in Judah were bound by oath to toe by because he was the son-in-law of Chuck and I the son of Aaron's son Jonah and had married the daughter shall the son of Barrack Kyle, his elbows. Moreover, they were speaking about his good deeds in my presence, and in reporting my words to him now.
Frankly, I couldn't take a week of this. Could you we hear you're trying to work with the princes of Judah part of the people that you're trying to help and there they got this letter thing going with toe by the enemy of God and he endured for months and even years, and earned their profits and there's a prophetess and others and and did you notice what they're doing here.
Verse 17 letters are going back and forth in verse 19. Moreover, there speaking about Tobiah's good deeds in my presence that they keep telling me what a good guy toe buying is a Nehemiah need to get over your problem with toe biota buys a great guy and we really part of the Nehemiah's the only guy who's saying he's an enemy of God is an enemy to God's work. In fact, later on in the book when Nehemiah goes to revisit Persia while he's there. The priest, the high priest sets up an apartment inside the temple for Tobiah and he moves in and the first thing Nehemiah does when he comes back to throw all Tobias furniture out on the street until the priest to clean his room out but how difficult this must've been the leaders of Judah don't see it but he did. I am convinced that probably this was the loneliest most difficult assault on his own life that he had ever faced, but he would quit verse 15 very sweet words.
So the wall was completed. The auto underline that in your text you could miss it if you didn't, so the wall was completed on the 25th of the month: 52 days. Can you imagine any sweeter words than those we finish the wall put away your tools clean up the mortar I got a scaffolding swing those massive doors shut and the city of God was secure, the city of God was bringing on her again them. There were those who were faithful inside the city walls were glorifying God at this moment. Ladies and gentlemen. When believers resist the lure of the Dragon. Two things happen number one God's work reaches completion.
Think about it for 100 years. It couldn't be done. That's all that they heard it can't be done, but this time the people have their hearts in the work in a leader who wouldn't quit and I can only imagine the celebration here as those walls were completed in those doors shut fast. The people of God begin to celebrate and I can only imagine the nations around them. Will all of their plotting and all of their planning and all of their intimidating all of the rumormongering in the and the devil behind it all. They had ultimately failed.
The walls finish to something else happens to your friends, and it's even better than that God's name receives all glory you look back at verse 16 quickly and it came about when all our enemies heard of it and all the nations surrounding a sought they lost their confidence, for they recognize that this work is been accomplished because of Nehemiah's leadership is the reverse version because the people were skilled at building because the timing was right, because the king and provide a letters of security because the Royal forested provided lumber for the gates. No, they recognize that this word had been accomplished with the help of our God. In other words, these unbelievers that someone supernatural had to of been involved in order for these walls to have been reconstructed in just 52 days. What a way to live. You hunger for this kind of life the kind of life that stays at times that the hard labor of building up your life. Building a marriage, building a family, building a church building a reputation that cares about unbelievers in your testimony to them. You build one piece at a time as you build a path to them.
Build in such a way that when there are phases of completion those around you have to say have to be brought to the conclusion can only define us in terms of a sovereign involvement of our God. God is glorified in his cause is advanced because the Dragon so hates the honor and glory of our God. No wonder the Dragon battles. Whatever God will. It should be no surprise to us that there is no advancement of the kingdom of heaven without corresponding opposition from the kingdom of hell and anytime you people say we will advance the kingdom of light. The kingdom of darkness comes in will use any method or any means to stop the work we do expect we need to be alert to wheedle battle against flesh and blood will put on the armor of God, because we struggle against rulers. Our text says the memorize these days, against powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in high places. There is an unseen and we need to expect that. So keep on building the walls of your character.
Keep on building the walls of your homes, your personal walk with Christ your testimony.
You know, all the while that the Dragon will continually drop different lures into the waters of your lives to try to trip you up and keep you from building need to live with that kind of perspective or you will become a casualty with so many others I read this a few years ago and it's so marked me the story of a man. The young man named Dudley Ting. He was a well-known preacher, a young man who traveled around preaching revivals and conferences. In 1858 being preached a 5000 men, a meeting that was organized by the Young men's Christian Association we call the YMCA and after preaching 1000 of those men young men accepted the free gift of salvation God was using him by the way. After that meeting he went home back to the farm. He was waiting for a meeting that night in which he would preach again. He went out to watch in the barn is his father's workers were shelling corn and they had this mule driven machine with lots of gears and in the corn was being Sheldon as Dudley stepped forward to watch the sleeve of his garment, caught in one of the gears and pulled his arm in severely lacerated, of course, with primitive medical times and the great loss of blood.
He would soon be dead. And when it was clear to his father and those workers and others that he would die his father leaned toward him and said Dudley tonight. There will be people expecting to hear you preach instead of that they will hear the news that you have died, is there any message that you want me to communicate.
He thought summoned all of his strengths up and he said dad tell them to stand up for Jesus.
That night the assembly hall was packed with people they had come expecting to hear Dudley Ting preach and instead his father stood and told them of the accident and Dudley's desk and then he delivered to them. Dudley Ting's final message man was there who heard those last words by the name of George the field he would later sit down and compose a poem we the church of song.
Now for over a century that goes like this, stand up, stand up for Jesus. The soldiers of the cross lift high his royal banner.
It must not suffer loss from victory on to victory his army shall he leave until every foe is vanquished in Christ as Lord. The standoff stand up for Jesus standing in his strength alone. The arm of flesh will fail you. You dare not trust your put on the gospel armor. Each piece put on with prayer or duty calls or danger be never wanting there standoff stand up for Jesus. The strife will not be long.
This day the noise of battle. The next the victors song to him that over, the crown of life shall be key with the King of glory shall reign eternally. In other words, the building led finished walls and serve the Dragon, so building your lives so that God is honored great name with a great reminder today when Satan tries to hinder and distract us the best response is to simply keep obeying God despite the opposition you've tuned into wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi if you joined us late for had to step away for part of this lesson, you can go online and listen to it again.
You'll find email@example.com, the fastest-growing way that people interact with our ministry is through our smart phone will have another lesson tomorrow so be with us for that here on wisdom for the hearts