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The Scheming Tactics of Kingdom Enemies Part 3 - (The Enemy's Tactic of Slander)

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | November 27, 2023 | Nehemiah 6:1-9


Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter 6 in which was written: “It is reported among the nations—and Geshem says it is true—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king. Nehemiah 6:5-6 (NIV)


That which started as a private invitation escalated to public intimidation because an open letter to a royal governor would be both intimidating and insulting. Letters to officials were rolled up and secured with seals so that only those with authority could open and read them. Sanballat wanted the public to know the contents of the letter because he hoped to undermine Nehemiah’s reputation and authority. Slander is the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another’s reputation. It is closely aligned with gossip which is a rumour of a personal or sensitive nature that shares dirt about another. Rumours involve exaggeration and inaccuracy. They accused him that when he came to Jerusalem, he had evil motives of wanting to gather a bunch of followers subvert their loyalty and cause them to start their little kingdom agenda and that his work was not what it might seem but was driven by selfish ambition to be king. Slanderers would try to twist God’s Word to support their agenda.

In these verses, we witness the relentless efforts of Sanballat and his team to thwart Nehemiah's mission by resorting to slander. The enemy often employs deceitful tactics, using false accusations to create doubt, confusion, and division. Slander can potentially damage reputations, sow discord, and hinder progress. By spreading false information, the enemy seeks to undermine our credibility, weaken our resolve, and distract us from God's purpose for our lives. Nehemiah's response to the slanderous accusations is a model of steadfastness and faith. He remained focused on God's calling, refusing to be swayed by baseless allegations. Nehemiah's example teaches us the importance of trusting God in the face of slander and maintaining our integrity.


How do you respond to the repeated attempts of the enemy to use slander as a weapon against you? What qualities can you incorporate into your life when facing false accusations or slander? Remain focused on your mission and maintain your trust in God in times of the enemy’s tactic of slander.


Heavenly Father, we come before you with grateful hearts, acknowledging your sovereignty over our lives. In moments of slander and false accusations, please help us to stand firm in our faith. Grant us discernment to recognize the enemy's tactics and the strength to overcome them with unwavering trust in Your promises. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.



DAILY word study: LETTER

The term "letter" in Nehemiah 6:5-6 is translated from the Hebrew word "כְּתָב" (kethav). In the biblical context, a "letter" typically refers to a written message or communication. Letters in the Bible can carry various purposes, including conveying information, instructions, or, as in this case, serving as a tool for manipulation.

Examples of Biblical Usage:

  • 2 Corinthians 3:6 (NKJV): "who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."

Here, "the letter" is contrasted with "the Spirit," emphasizing the difference between legalistic adherence to rules and the transformative power of the Holy Spirit.

  • Jeremiah 29:1 (NKJV): "Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the remainder of the elders who were carried away captive—to the priests, the prophets, and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon."

This verse exemplifies a letter as a means of communication during the time of exile.

In Nehemiah 6:5-6, the adversaries of Nehemiah sought to use a letter to falsely accuse him and create a situation where he would compromise. This deceitful tactic aimed to damage Nehemiah's reputation and hinder the progress of rebuilding the wall.


Reflect on a time when written communication played a significant role in a situation in your life. How did it impact the outcome, and what lessons did you learn from that experience?

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