Each Wore His Sword As He Built

Text: Nehemiah 4:16-23

When Nehemiah returned to rebuild Jerusalem, the workers were mocked & threatened (Nehemiah 4:1-3, 7-8). The threats were addressed without the rebuilding project being neglected. There are some applications to be made here to our ongoing spiritual conflict.

A Constant Threat

  • Sanballat & his allies conspired together (4:8) – enemies look for an unprepared & unguarded opponent; they remain ready to strike when the most opportune time comes
  • The devil works the same way (1 Peter 5:8) – the threat of attack is always present

Remain in Constant Readiness

  • Because of the constant threat, the Jews needed to remain in a state of constant readiness – guards stationed around the clock (4:16, 21-22); builders constantly armed (4:17-18); Nehemiah, his brothers, servants, and men of the guard were dressed & armed at all times (4:23)
  • We must also be in a state of constant readiness (1 Peter 5:8; 1 Corinthians 16:13)
  • Be ready to wield the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17)

Be Ready to Fight

  • While the wall was being built, half the people stood guard while the other half worked (4:16) – being alert was not so they could run & hide when trouble came, it was so they could defend their city & defeat their attackers
  • In our spiritual battles, we are not to turn around and run, but we must stand up & fight (2 Corinthians 10:5)
  • Armor of God (Ephesians 6:14-17) – designed for battle, not for retreat
  • Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12) – not flee, appease, compromise, or surrender

Work Must Continue

  • Rebuilding the wall was “great and extensive” (4:19) – but defending the city & themselves was also necessary
  • If they ignored the threat & focused only on rebuilding, they would have been defeated
  • If they devoted their complete attention to the threats, the city would have never been rebuilt
  • While engaged in a spiritual war, remember the need to build up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12, 16) – we cannot neglect one or the other; balance is needed

Help One Another

  • Nehemiah & the Jews faced a logistical challenge – while working they were spread out & vulnerable
  • One stood ready with a trumpet to rally all the brethren together when a threat arrived (4:18-20)
  • There was a concern & love for the brethren that we also must have today (Hebrews 13:1; Jude 22-23)
  • A threat against one/some is a threat against all (1 Corinthians 12:26; 2 Corinthians 11:29) – we must help one another while we work & fight in the Lord’s cause

God Will Fight For Us

  • Nehemiah was confident that if an attack came, God would be on their side (4:20)
  • This did not mean that preparations were unnecessary – the people did what they were capable of doing, then they put their trust in the Lord
  • We know that in the end the Lord will be victorious (Revelation 17:14) – this should give us confidence (Romans 8:31; Hebrews 13:6)
  • We will be victorious if we remain on the Lord’s side – continue to work & fight for Him

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