Complete Sermon Notes
Lessons From Nehemiah
Part 2: 10 Principles of Warfare
Ch. 3: Families and leaders rose up to rebuild the gates
1 Principle: Defended Against Enemies
4 But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews. 2 And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish—stones that are burned?” 3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall.”
Taunting and discouragement is always a tactic of the enemy – it drains enthusiasm and kills motivation. Learn to “encourage yourself in the Lord.”
Nehemiah’s response . . .
Principle 2: Begin with a Spiritual Defense
SPIRITUALLY – 4:4 Hear, O our God, for we are despised; turn their reproach on their own heads, and give them as plunder to a land of captivity! 5 Do not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You; for they have provoked You to anger before the builders.
Principle 3: Keep Building [a mind to work]
PHYSICALLY – 6 So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.
Principle 4: Don’t Let Your Guard Down
THE ENEMY BECAME ANGRY 8 and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. 9 Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.
Principle 5: Expect Friendly Fire
10 Then Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.” 11 And our adversaries said, “They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease.” 12 So it was, when the Jews who dwelt near them came, that they told us ten times, “From whatever place you turn, they will be upon us.”
Even believers become discouraged.
Principle 6: God Defends, but We Still Must Position Ourselves
13 Therefore I positioned men behind the lower parts of the wall, at the openings; and I set the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14 And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”
Faith will be tested; fortitude challenged – fear must not prevail.
Principle 7: The Power of Unity
15 And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had brought their plot to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work. 16 So it was, from that time on, that half of my servants worked at construction, while the other half held the spears, the shields, the bows, and wore armor; and the leaders were behind all the house of Judah. 17 Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. 18 Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me.
Work in one hand and a weapon in the next
19 Then I said to the nobles, the rulers, and the rest of the people, “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated far from one another on the wall. 20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.”
Principle 8 The Love of Money is the Root of All Evil
Nehemiah Deals with Dishonesty: The nobles took advantage of the people
5:7 After serious thought, I rebuked the nobles and rulers, and said to them, “Each of you is exacting usury from his brother.” VS. 12 So they said, “We will restore it, and will require nothing from them; we will do as you say.”
If we are looking for ways to capitalize on others, it’s an open door for the enemy. Let God bring the resources vs slick marketing campaigns and ulterior motives:
“Connections” is the top reason why many professionals attend large churches.
Principle 9 Generosity Quenches “the love of money.”
Nehemiah gave back to the people
Principle 10 You Must Fear God
5:15…Even their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God. 16 Indeed, I also continued the work on this wall, and we did not buy any land . . . I did not demand the governor’s provisions, because the bondage was heavy on this people.
19 Remember me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.