Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

Nehemiah. Part 22.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The king said, “I’ll not only send letters, I’ll not only give you the OK to use the timber, but I’ll also dispatch a few horsemen and a few soldiers who will go right along with you, to protect you on your way.”

When you walk by means of faith, you will invariably encounter the Sanballat’s and the Tobiah’s – people who live by Murphy’s Law – where if something can go wrong. It will.

Their whole life is one big negative; there’s a critical spirit that just surveys and covers them and whatever comes to their attention – it won’t work.

NEH 2:8 “Please give me a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, for the wall of the city, and for the house to which I will go.” And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me.

The occupying officials, one of whose name was Sanballat, were less than thrilled to have Nehemiah there (2:10), and set out to stop this project from going any further.

In their attempts to prevent the construction they used false accusation (2:19), mockery (2:19) –
NEH 2:19 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?”

Sanballat and Tobiah used ridicule –
NEH 4:1 Now it came about that when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry and mocked the Jews.
Sanballat and Tobiah plotted evil against Nehemiah and dissension amongst the workers –
NEH 4:8 And all of them conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance in it.
Sanballat and Tobiah caused co-laborer’s complaints about the conditions –
NEH 4:12 And it came about 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,”

Sanballat and Tobiah were persistent in their efforts to stop Nehemiah with blackmail –
NEH 6:5-6 Then Sanballat sent his servant to me in the same manner a fifth time with an open letter in his hand.

NEH 6:6 In it was written, “It is reported among the nations, and Gashmu says, that 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.”
They accused Nehemiah of promoting false prophets (6:12), and intimidation (6:13).

At that point they realized that God was the one who was behind the project all along.
It is also a warning to us, telling us how Satan will attempt to stop that ministry from accomplishing its work within us. The name Nehemiah means “Counselor” or “Comforter” and like the Holy Spirit, he came to rebuild.

Nehemiah added to and strengthened the foundations and the walls of Jerusalem; whereas, the Holy Spirit adds to and strengthens the Church. Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem quietly. He did not make his presence known to any great degree, or announce his purpose for several days (2:11).

Even then it was not until after he had thoroughly surveyed the situation (2:17).

In a like manner, so also does the Holy Spirit indwell us and surveys the situation before He begins His major internal renovation project on us, JOH 20:22; Acts 2:4.

The Holy Spirit does not begin tearing out “walls” in our lives, or immediately reveal the totality of the clean-up job He has been sent to accomplish the minute He arrives on the scene.

We know that Satan is enraged at the Church, and has declared war on it (REV 12:9,13 & 17).

In Nehemiah 4:1 you will see that Sanballat reacted in a like manner, and became incensed and greatly angered over Nehemiah’s building project.

The similarity though is heightened as we discover that the name ‘Sanballet’ means “hate in disguise.”

In the case of Sanballet, it masqueraded behind his capacity as one of the officials sent to administer the captured territory of Israel (NEH 2:10).

In the case of Satan, his hatred of us is concealed behind his image as an angel of light (2CO 11:14).

When you walk by faith, you will encounter the hostility of people who walk by sight.

They are rebuked by the life of faith.
They are especially rebuked because they don’t have it.

3JO 1:9 I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, neither does he himself receive the brethren, and he forbids those who desire to do so, and puts them out of the church.

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