From Pastor Johnny

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Build and Battle Sermon Blog Day 1 Nehemiah 4:1-8

          On the morning of Dec. 11 & 12, 1962 the Union Army set out to cross the Rappahanok River and attack Fredricksburg, where the Confederate Army was occupying.  There was only one problem, in order to battle the enemy, they first had to build a pontoon bridge across the river.  This meant that, while they built this bridge, they would be shot at by Mississippi Snipers under their commanding officer William Barksdale.  

          It was a bloody and dangerous crossing.  As the Union Soldiers built the pontoon bridges, there were bullets raining on them from across the river. The Union Army engineers built and battled their way across this river.  At times, building and battling is required to accomplish a mission of an institution, army, or organization. 

          Sometimes, in the midst of serving and building what God has called us to fulfill, we may be battling those people, circumstances, and obstacles that come against us.  In those times, we are not necessarily called to quit serving and building, so we will build and battle at the same time.  As God builds His Kingdom, His servants are called to battle the enemy while continuing to build and serve. Consider some obstacles and responses you might see as you build and battle. 

 There is Outward Battling:4:1-8 

          But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews. 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?” 

          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.” 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! 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.  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. Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the [a]gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. 

           There are very real outward enemies and circumstances that come down on us and around us as believers. These enemies may take the form of circumstances, people, crisis, or events.  Whatever the issue is, it is still an outward and visible attack on our ongoing progress in God’s Kingdom. Notice how Sanballat and Tobiah come after Nehemiah and God’s people. 

  • Nehemiah 4:2 What are these feeble Jews doing? Attacked their Ability 
  • Nehemiah 4:2 Will they fortify themselves? Doubted their Mission 
  • Nehemiah 4:2 Will they offer sacrifices? Criticized their Faith/Worship 
  • Nehemiah 4:2 Will they complete it in a day? Undermine their Plan 
  • Nehemiah 4:2 Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish— stones that are burned?” Promote the Obstacles in front of them. 
  • Nehemiah 4:3 Whatever they build, even if a fox goes up on it, he will  break down their stone wall. Belittle Progress that Has Been Made 
  • Nehemiah 4:7-8 all of them conspired together to come and attack  Jerusalem and create confusion. Used Bullying with Growing Size to Cause Fear 

           All of these efforts to attack Nehemiah and God’s people were varied and similar to how we are still attacked.  And, in the same way, seeking to follow through on God’s will and God’s plan will bring outward opposition. This outward opposition will call God’s people to battle through it.