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The Scheming Tactics of Kingdom Enemies Part 1 - (Kingdom progress Activates Kingdom Enemies)

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku| November 25, 2023 | Nehemiah 6:1-9

KEY VERSE:

Now when it was reported to Sanballat, Tobiah, to Geshem the Arab and to the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall, and that no breach remained in it, although at that time I had not set up the doors in the gates. Nehemiah 6:1


MESSAGE:

We have been studying Nehemiah chapters four and five for the past several weeks. We saw that the relationship between the two chapters is that they are both about opposition, but they differ in that chapter four speaks about opposition from without, while chapter 5 deals with opposition from within. The "opposition from without" in Chapter 4 developed because of jealousy, and anger at the accomplishments of others. In Chapter 5, it developed "inside the family" because of greed and selfishness. One would expect to read in chapter 6 that "Everyone lived happily ever after!" But that’s not what happened.


The work did progress on the wall, but the opposition “from without” returned with different tactics of discouragement and deception to prevent Nehemiah from finishing the task. The attack upon Nehemiah in Chapter 6 was very significant because it happened at a crucial juncture in his life when he was nearly finished with the greatest task that Jerusalem’s citizens had seen in their generation. Not very long before they were ready to cut the ribbon and enjoy a jubilant celebration, the enemy began to plot Nehemiah’s demise. Whenever we begin to progress in our spiritual life and fulfil the purpose of our calling, we wake up the enemies of our lives and ministries.


Kingdom progress refers to the advancement of God's purposes and the establishment of His rule and reign in the lives of individuals, churches, denominations, communities, and the world at large. Kingdom progress involves the tangible manifestation of God's transformative work, often seen through the restoration, renewal, and flourishing of His people and kingdom business. In the book of Nehemiah, kingdom progress is exemplified through Nehemiah's leadership in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. It involves aligning with God's vision, obediently following His will, effective leadership, community collaboration, overcoming opposition, prayerful dependence on God, and achieving not only physical restoration but also spiritual and moral renewal. Remember, Sanballat and his evil cohorts are always around, and your “kingdom progress” will always awaken them. When the kingdom enemies try to frighten you and get you to quit, stay on task and ask God to strengthen you.


FEET AND HANDS:

How can you enhance your spiritual vigilance in the face of opposition? Are there specific areas in your life where you need to be more alert to the tactics of the enemy as you strive for kingdom progress? In Nehemiah's story, he remained vigilant and discerning amidst external threats.


PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, thank you for the wisdom and insights gained from reflecting on Nehemiah's story and the principles of handling kingdom progress and its accompanying enemies. Lord, grant me the discernment to recognize the spiritual opposition that may arise as I progress in fulfilling Your purposes. Help me to distinguish between ordinary challenges and the tactics of the enemy. May Your Holy Spirit illuminate my heart and mind, enabling me to navigate each obstacle with faith and wisdom. In the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen! THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!!

 

DAILY word study: REPORTED

In the context of Nehemiah 6:1, the term "reported" is translated from the Hebrew word "nagad," which conveys the idea of declaring, proclaiming, or making known. The enemies, Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem, received this declaration or report about the progress of Nehemiah's wall-rebuilding project. This biblical usage emphasizes the power of information, especially when it falls into the hands of those with opposing intentions.


The Hebrew "nagad" implies not only the transmission of facts but also the intentionality of making something known. In Nehemiah's situation, it denotes the intentional communication of a specific reality—the successful reconstruction of the wall. This communication, intentional or not, sets the stage for the enemies' subsequent actions and strategies.


This theme of reporting is recurrent in the Bible, illustrating the impact of shared information on various narratives. In Genesis, Joseph's brothers reported their father's preference for him, leading to jealousy and animosity. In the New Testament, the Pharisees reported the healing of the blind man by Jesus, triggering conflict and opposition.


Understanding the Hebrew "nagad" prompts reflection on the intentionality behind the information we convey. Nehemiah's story challenges us to consider not just the content of our communication but also the motives and intentions behind what we declare or make known. It invites us to be mindful of the narratives we share, recognizing their capacity to influence perspectives and reactions.


Reflections:

How can we apply the lessons from Nehemiah's situation to our communication today, considering the intentional declaration of information? Are we mindful of the motives and intentions behind what we make known, recognizing the potential impact on relationships and situations?

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