Asking God to be Himself & Acting Wise

This is an amazing passage about how we kingdom build / disciple build… in the face of opposition. We follow the example found here in Nehemiah: we employ Trust & Wisdom!

Trust & Wisdom: This is how we conduct Biblical Spiritual Warfare. If we want to build Kingdom things we will have to do it thru opposition [warfare]

3 Basic steps we follow when conducting Spiritual Warfare found in this chapter:

#1: It all begins with the RECOGNITION OF OPPOSITION

  • Because Satan & His minions don’t take a day off…


  • Asking God to do what He will to do

#3: ACTING WITH WISDOM to do what we can do

  • Defensive and Offensive modes of living [Christ Following]

Trust & Wisdom…We get such models of Spiritual Warfare from Scripture

Here is what our text will show us today: The building has begun…the initial excitement dissipates… reality sets in. People start to get discouraged, doubt begins to be voiced, rumors start spreading. How does the building process go forward? God’s people prepare with prayer, trusting God to do what He will do. Then as they trust God, they wisely prepare what they can do…Leadership rallies everyone to the plan because it is a ‘God Given Plan’. Nehemiah leads God’s people to trust their God and act with wisdom.

So let’s join the story in chapter 4 of Nehemiah..

Last Week:

But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the work was going ahead and that the gaps in the wall of Jerusalem were being repaired, they were furious. They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw us into confusion. But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves. ~ Nehemiah 4:7-9 [NLT]

Nehemiah 4:10-23

10 Then the people of Judah began to complain, “The workers are getting tired, and there is so much rubble to be moved. We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves.”

  • The workers from outside the city begin the grumbling
  • ‘There is no end in sight to the work’…It seems like ‘eating an elephant’
  • But maybe there is some other thing that is really the problem…

11 Meanwhile, our enemies were saying, “Before they know what’s happening, we will swoop down on them and kill them and end their work.” 12 The Jews who lived near the enemy came and told us again and again, “They will come from all directions and attack us!”

  • Nehemiah knew what the enemy was saying because it was well known
  • People working on the wall lived next to those who were opposed to building
  • They were seeing the preparations that were being made to attack the builders
  • The builders were outnumbered and outflanked / surrounded by enemies

13 So I placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas. I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows.

  • It was wise to stop work for a moment to organize security [priority]
  • Security was organized on the same model labor on the wall was: community
  • Weapons for different kinds of combat: distance, intermediate & close
  • They prepared for everything they could

14 Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!”

  • Nehemiah double checked his preparation
  • Then he addresses the issue of fear
  • Then he reminds them God who Yahweh ‘the Lord’ IS
  • Then he encourages them to fight for their family & future

15 When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on the wall. 16 But from then on, only half my men worked while the other half stood guard with spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail.

  • Again they know how the opposition reacts [they are like bullies]
  • But you still need to be ready for the bully to throw a sucker punch
  • Attitude of being alert…NOT of FEAR

The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon. 18 All the builders had a sword belted to their side. The trumpeter stayed with me to sound the alarm.

  • Leadership shows it’s support for people who raised important issues
  • Both sides came together trusting God and being prepared for opposition
  • He is initial alarm system to be duplicated [trumpet]

19 Then I explained to the nobles and officials and all the people, “The work is very spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20 When you hear the blast of the trumpet, rush to wherever it is sounding. Then our God will fight for us!”

  • They needed a practical way to make a call to arms
  • The sounding of trumpets was big in the history of God’s nation Israel
  • They are ready but they are trusting God to win the battle

21 We worked early and late, from sunrise to sunset. And half the men were always on guard. 22 I also told everyone living outside the walls to stay in Jerusalem. That way they and their servants could help with guard duty at night and work during the day.

  • Regular vigilance, not when people have time or when it is convenient
  • Spiritual warfare is a daily deal
  • Leadership thinks safety first…AND productivity increases because of it!

23 During this time, none of us—not I, nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor the guards who were with me—ever took off our clothes. We carried our weapons with us at all times, even when we went for water.

  • Leadership sets the example of being extra vigilant
  • Nehemiah and his people covered for others while they ‘freshened Up’
  • The people did their part & believed what they were doing was God protected


People get discouraged when the hard work of the project becomes reality.

Opposition to Kingdom Building is coming…it is just a matter of when and how.

Prepare to build with prayer: V. 9 last week & a theme throughout Nehemiah: Prayer!

Act based on God given wisdom born of Prayer / Trust.

Leadership makes sacrifices beyond what it asks of followers.


What can you do to work against things discouraging our Body? [Ephesians 4:1-3]


Have you faced unexpected opposition in the past when you got involved in ‘Kingdom Building’? How well do you recognize the need to prepare with prayer? [Ephesians 6:18]


If we are called to not be afraid of the enemy and at the same time to be wise and prepare, what kind of attitude do we need to bring to our life of Kingdom Building? [Philippians 2:1-11]


Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. ~ Ephesians 6:10-13 [NASB 1995]