Rebuilding the Walls (Facing Opposition)
Teacher’s Guide Page
A. Brief Review of Nehemiah
When Nehemiah arrived in Judah, opposition met him head on. Opposition to the rebuilding of Jerusalem had been an ongoing issue for 90 years by the people who had settled in the area when the Jews were taken captive. In each generation, unfortunately there are those who are haters of ALMIGHTY GOD. These people allow themselves to be used by Satan in attempts to but a halt to the work of the LORD. When Gods children try to do the will of God and do the work He has called us to do, like Nehemiah we will face opposition from the enemy in attempts to make us fail. In this lesson today I want us to look at the opposition Nehemiah and the builders faced, and know that we too will face opposition. We can learn from the word of God and be ready and prepared to do what we must do to be conquerors. If God be for us, who can be against us!
B. Sanballat and Tobiah
Sanballat was governor of Samaria, the region just north of Judea, where Jerusalem was located. Perhaps Sanballat had hopes of becoming governor of Judah as well, however the arrival of Nehemiah spoiled his plans. We first read about Sanballat and Tobiah in chapter 2 when Nehemiah first arrived in Jerusalem. They opposed him from the very beginning!
1. Explain some of the reasons why Sanballat and Tobiah opposed Nehemiah, but show that ultimately it was the work of satan trying to hinder the work that God had called Nehemiah to do.
Opposition 1 – Ridicule
Satan’s ultimate goal is to stop the work of God. If he can do that then his work is complete. He doesn’t waste his time on those who are not a threat to him! His tactics are to first start with outside opposition and try to weaken our emotions and our defenses so that he can get on the inside. He wants to cause oppression and strong holds in our lives so that we are so busy with those things, the work God has called us to do is put on hold. Satan knows that opposition can never become oppression as long as it does not get on the inside of those walls! So he will begin to get inside before the walls are built up strong.
This ridicule from Sanballat and Tobiah did not stop Nehemiah and his builders. It must not stop us either (Nehemiah 4:4-6)
Like Nehemiah, we must turn to the LORD when Satan comes at us with these fiery darts. Satan will attack you personally, he will attack your family, he will attack anything he can to try to hinder the plans God has for you! However we must press on. Going to God in prayer and having a mind to work and determination to go on even in the midst of oppression.
Opposition 2 – Attack
Now these two evil men have allied together with other of Jerusalem’s enemies and are planning an attack to stop this rebuilding of the wall! Satan does not want this wall to go up. He did not want Jerusalem to be fortified and my friend he does not want you to be strengthened and fortified by building up your spiritual walls either! He will plan full out attacks and he will go through with them. However, we can war against him by putting on the whole armour of God that is spoken of in Ephesians chapter 6 and we can hold up our shield of faith and use our swords of the Spirit whish is the word of God!
Nehemiah 4:9 “9Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.”
Again, Nehemiah and the builders were wise and turned to God in prayer. God helped them come up with a plan of actions against the opposition. In reading the rest of chapter 4 we find that they had some appointed as guards to watch for the enemy so that they could not just come and overtake them yet again. We must set up a watch for the enemy so that he does not catch us off guard with his fiery darts of temptation that is to stop the rebuilding of our spiritual walls.
Mark 14:38 “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
THE WORK MUST GO ON! (Nehemiah 4:16-21)
C. We must understand that there will be opposition.
If we are going to be as Nehemiah and finish the work God has called us to do, we must be ready to face opposition. However, when it comes we must not get distracted. Opposition is for a reason, we must keep building and rebuilding for the LORD JESUS CHRIST. We are His servants. Like the people in Nehemiah 4:6, we must have determination and a mind to work. We must set our sights on our Father and what He wants us to do and do it. Jesus is our example. No other man met with opposition the way that Christ did, yet He stayed focused on the plan and the task and He fulfilled HIS destiny.
(Isaiah 53:7; 1 John 4:4; 1 Samuel 17:47; Psalm 24:8; Romans 8:31)