HOW DO I RESPOND WHEN THREATENED?
NEHEMIAH – GOD’S MAN IN TIMES OF CRISIS
LESSON # 5 – Nehemiah 4 – A COMPLETE LESSON
· What are some of the types of personal threats we receive?
· What are some of the biggest threats to progress that churches face?
· Why do threats occur?
· What are some of the responses we can have when we feel that we are threatened personally or as a group?
Things were going well for Nehemiah’s wall building efforts, when suddenly there were threats to the well being of the project. These threats came from outsiders who didn’t want Nehemiah and his friends to succeed. Nehemiah teaches us some proper responses for the times when we feel threatened.
WALK – BE PRAYERFUL! – Vss. 1-6
The “loyal opposition” included several people. Those named were Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian. 2:10, 19.
Sanballat was evidently governor of Syria, and Tobiah was governor of Ammon. Geshem appears to be an Arabian king.
According to Nehemiah 2:10, why were these people opposed to Nehemiah?
Why do you think these people were specifically opposed to the rebuilding of Jerusalem?
The basic weapon used in these verses is ridicule and sarcasm.
We are vulnerable to the attacks of the tongue. Why? How can they slow God’s work? Consider Proverbs 15:1-4 and James 3:1-13.
We never like being the victims of ridicule and sarcasm. But we must be careful not to “dish it out” as well. Matthew 7:1-5, 12, Romans 12:14, 14:4
Vss. 4-6 – Nehemiah took the right approach. He prayed and continued the project. Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:7
Why was Nehemiah so harsh against his enemies?
Vs. 6 – “The people had a mind to work.” Nehemiah prayed, evidently the verbal attacks were ignored, and the project reached half its height.
WATCH – BE PERCEPTIVE – Vss. 7-15
When is it a legitimate time to cease work on a project?
Vss. 7-8 – This alliance of opposition against the Jews was formidable. In fact the different groups opposed actually had Jerusalem surrounded!
Vs. 10 – The opposition was planning to attack at a time when many were discouraged. Why was the timing of an attack crucial to its success?
Vss. 11-12 – Word came that a surprise attack was planned. Have you ever been “broad-sided” when trying to do ministry? How did the surprise of it hurt you?
Vss. 9, 13 – Work stopped because there was an imminent threat. Why did Nehemiah group the defense by families?
Vs. 14 – When is it appropriate to give a “pep talk”? Hebrews 3:13-14, 10:24-25
Vs. 15 – When the imminent threat had passed then they went back to work.
Watching is an important part of the Christian Life. Mark 14:35-37, Titus 2:11-13, 1 Peter 4:7
WAR – BE PREPARED! – Vss. 16-23
How do watches, war, and work go together?
What did Nehemiah do in this passage that was wise? Why did he do it?
The parallel to the Christian life is obvious. As we labor in the kingdom, we must be prepared to fight! Ephesians 6:11-18
WORK – BE PRODUCTIVE!
In spite of the threats, Nehemiah and the people kept working, thus defeating the intentions of the opposition.
We must remember that threats are never to hinder our work. If we have to shut down temporarily to fix a problem, let’s do so. If we have to take precautions, let’s do so. But, ultimately, let’s continue the work!
Proverbs 13:4 – The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
Colossians. 3:23 – And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;