22 Oct What Is the Best Way to Deal with Cruel Enemies? Nehemiah 6
Last 10% hardest: Sports & politics = fight to finish
Walls basically finished, gates & doors to hang = God’s people secure
- Critics – 1st to “greet” him arrived Jerusalem. Still going, never quit.
- God appoints the leader, Satan attacks the leader –
- Nehemiah – strike shepherd, sheep scatter
=Test – hear from God, don’t get bitter inside, don’t get diverted outside
Wise People Understand Evil People (Nehemiah 6:1-4)
…our enemies…Sanballat & Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come & let us meet together… But they intended to do me harm…I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work & I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it & come down to you?”…they sent to me 4x…& I answered them in the same manner.
A Murderous Spirit will weaponize anything
Leave your people. Leave your work. Come to our turf on our terms.
1). Pushy & Public 4x 2). Unrepentant & Unsafe
1.Evil ppl = dangerous 2.Foolish ppl – naïve. 3.Wise pple – discerning
Fake News is Nothing New (Nehemiah 6:5-9)
Sanballat for the 5th time sent…me an open letter…it was written, “It is reported among the nations, & Geshem also says it, that you & the Jews intend to rebel; that is why you are building the wall…according to these reports you wish to become their king…you have also set up prophets to proclaim…‘There is a king in Judah.’ And now the king will hear of these reports. So now come and let us take counsel together.” Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind.” For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, & it will not be done.”
- Enemies Escalate: Disgrace – Divert – Destroy
- Satan Father of lies – Joseph rapist; Jesus’ demonic; Nehemiah terrorist/treason
- Guilty people accuse innocent people of their sins – hired false prophets= projection
- Fake News creates Real Problems
- Political leaders w/people & power & signers to fake legitimacy
- “Open Letter” – PR nightmare, fear/suspicion
Artaxerxes – 2 bros – killed older & defeated younger. 2 coups – bloody insurrections
- A leader should rarely respond – treason (same of Jesus Lk. 23:1-5)
- Don’t meet with your enemies. Do meet with your God.
But now, O God, strengthen my hands.
TESTIMONY (1-7 personal journal)
- High school -edited paper, some freelance writing
- Communication speech degree & journalism job (news w/cited source, vs editorial)
- Internet – Early adopter – website, sermons, blogs, social media
- Young man misspoke
- Old woman
- -View Barbara/Whoopi. -ABC Nightline 2x, -CNN w/Piers Morgan – edit Bible out
- Clipped & cancelled -country
- Met enemies. Adultery nuclear option.
- Public figure 2. Journalism? 3. $ to pay out, get back
=Conversation. XN give God sin. XN leader give God reputation.
Fake News has been Found Out
- 7% of Americans have “a great deal” of trust and confidence in the media
- 34% have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of confidence in media
- 38% with no trust at all outpaces great deal/fair amount for first time
- 70% of Democrats, 14% of Republicans, 27% of independents trust media
“Notably, this is the first time that the percentage of Americans with no trust at all in the media is higher than the percentage with a great deal or a fair amount combined.”
Don’t believe all “believers” (Nehemiah 6:10-14)
Shemaiah…said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple…They are coming to kill you by night.” But I said, “Should such a man as I run away? And what man such as I could go into the temple and live? I will not go in.”…I understood & saw that God had not sent him, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobiah & Sanballat had hired him…he was hired, that I should be afraid & act in this way & sin, & so they could give me a bad name in order to taunt me. Remember Tobiah & Sanballat, O my God, according to these things that they did, and also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who wanted to make me afraid.
True prophets: 1. Revelation 2. Illumination
- False prophets – “God had not sent him”
- False profits “Tobiah & Sanballat had hired him”
=Watch out for “XN” 1. Person 2. Platform
Death penalty =entering Temple (Nu. 18:7), King Uzziah got leprosy (2 Chron. 26:16-210
=Sin against God & Abandon People, or Die?
= FREEDOM: own IP. Control message.
Your beating comes before your blessing (Nehemiah 6:15-19)
the wall was finished…in 52 days…when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid & fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God…many…were bound by oath to [Tobiah], because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah…& his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam…as his wife. Also they spoke of his good deeds in my presence & reported my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to make me afraid.
Some leaders are unicorns – Nehemiah alone (141 yrs, trusted by King & Believers)
Courage & Fear are contagious
Humble leaders point to God – this work had been accomplished w/the help of our God
1 enemy can cause a lot of misery – Tobiah – PR firm, lawyers,
- Intermarried w/believers – Meshullam’s daughter (believers 3:4, 30)
- Has allies to spy on Nehemiah & report back – privacy gone
Beating worth the blessing?
Blessing #1 REVIVAL
Blessing #2 Jesus Mal 3:1 “the Lord whom you seek will…come to his temple; & the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord”