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The Scheming Tactics of Kingdom Enemies Part 2 - (The Enemy's Tactics of Compromise and Distraction)

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | November 26, 2023 | Nehemiah 6:1-9

KEY VERSE:

²Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.” But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Nehemia 6:2-3


MESSAGE:

When Sanballat and his coconspirators realise that they have been outmanoeuvred, and outwitted by Nehemiah, they decide to attack him personally. This passage unveils the enemy's subtle strategy of compromise and distraction as they seek to thwart Nehemiah's progress. Here, Sanballat and Geshem extended an invitation to Nehemiah. My simple research revealed that “Ono” was located on the seacoast near the Gaza Strip; a nice resort area for a religious conference. It was like the enemies were saying “Let’s organize a retreat instead of being adversaries and snipping at one another, let’s get together and discuss what we have in common”.


The proposal seemed harmless on the surface—a seemingly friendly meeting at a neutral location. However, this invitation concealed a nefarious intent to compromise Nehemiah's focus and determination. The enemy's tactic was rooted in the art of distraction. They aimed to divert his attention from the crucial work on the walls by enticing Nehemiah to a meeting. Compromising situations often start with seemingly harmless distractions, leading individuals away from their divine callings.


His response, "I am doing great work and I cannot come down", reflects a profound discernment of the true nature of the invitation. Nehemiah's refusal illustrates the importance of spiritual discernment in the face of subtle compromises. Unyielding, the adversaries persisted in their attempts to distract Nehemiah. They sent the same invitation four times, escalating their efforts. This highlights the enemy's determination to erode Nehemiah's commitment through persistent compromise and distraction. The enemy's tactics of compromise and distraction are not confined to Nehemiah’s time. It remains a contemporary challenge. In our personal and spiritual lives, adversaries may lure us away from God's purpose with seemingly innocent proposals. Nehemiah's example urges us to stay vigilant and resolute in the face of persistent distractions. Establishing clear goals, maintaining a focus on priorities, and cultivating discernment are essential tools in resisting the enemy's attempts to divert attention and compromise integrity.


FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE:

How can you cultivate a decerning spirit in the face of seemingly innocent invitations that may compromise your commitment to God’s calling? How can you fortify your spiritual defences and stay focused on God’s calling, especially when faced with persistent temptations? Don’t get distracted by good things. You need to learn to say “NO”, and proactively develop Christian principles of discernment and unwavering resolve to safeguard against the tactics of compromise and distraction.


PRAYER:

Dear Heavenly Father, grant me the discernment and wisdom to recognize the enemy's tactics of compromise and distraction in my life. Strengthen my resolve to stay focused on the tasks You have entrusted to me, guarding against the subtle invitations that seek to divert me from Your purpose. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen. THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!!

 

DAILY word study: SCHEMING The Hebrew word "תָּחַשׁ" (tachash) denotes a subtle planning or crafting, often with an intent to deceive. Its root meaning encompasses the idea of forming a secret plan to achieve a selfish or harmful objective.


This word is used in various contexts in the Bible to depict the crafty and deceitful actions of individuals.

Examples of Biblical Usage:

  1. Genesis 3:1 (NKJV): "Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, 'Has God indeed said, "You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"'" Here, the word is used to describe the craftiness of the serpent in tempting Eve.

  2. Proverbs 14:17 (NKJV): "A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of wicked intentions is hated." In this proverb, the word is translated as "wicked intentions," conveying the idea of evil scheming.

The context in Nehemiah 6:2-3 reveals a scheme devised by Nehemiah's adversaries to harm him. The scheming wasn't born out of noble intentions but rather a malicious plot to hinder the reconstruction of the wall. This emphasizes the recurring theme in the Bible that speaks against deceitful practices and highlights the need for discernment when facing opposition.


Reflections:

Reflect on a time when you faced opposition or encountered deceitful schemes. How did you respond, and what lessons did you learn from that experience?

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