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The Scheming Tactics of Kingdom Enemies Part 4 - (Overcoming the Tactics of Slander and Deception)

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | November 28, 2023 | Nehemiah 6:1-9


They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” Nehemiah 6:9 (NIV)


In yesterday’s devotional, we learnt that Nehemiah's enemies sought to instil fear and weaken the resolve of the people by spreading slander. The enemies came to taunt them, and the weakness they experienced was not just physical, but mental and spiritual fatigue as well. The mockers were not just attacking their job, but casting doubt on the strength of their God. By mocking their efforts, they were essentially telling Nehemiah and his people that their faith was misplaced, and their God was powerless. Nehemiah’s reaction tells us exactly how we should react given this same situation: not retaliation, not defensiveness, and not anger, but an immediate turning to the Lord. Nehemiah took the problem to God and asked Him to handle things by strengthening his hands for the task he was called to do. He was not asking for strength to destroy his enemies, but strength to simply do what God had called him to do. This means humility. This means trusting the Lord. This means letting vengeance belong to God and staying focused.

Nehemiah had the discernment to see the slander strategy was all about fear, and he wouldn’t give in to it. No enemy can make us afraid; all they can do is try to make us choose fear – but it is up to us to refuse it. If you are going to live and work for Christ you must know there are going to be things that distract you to get you off course, and there are going to be things that defame you. Nehemiah said I am going to keep working on the wall. He would not give in to distractions. He would not give in to defamation. He knew their motive was to try to frighten him and he would not give in. Rather than succumbing to the fear and discouragement that slander can bring, he turns to God in prayer. Nehemiah acknowledges his dependence on God's strength to counteract the potential weakness caused by the enemy's tactics. Nehemiah's prayer is not a plea for an easy way out but a request for strength to continue the work. It reflects a posture of active dependence on God. As we face slander or opposition, our response should not be passivity or retaliation, but a diligent commitment to the work God has called us to, relying on His strength.

FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE: Are you on the verge of giving in to the deceptions and slander of the enemy? The antidote is to keep on working hard. Cultivate the habit of seeking God’s empowerment amid challenges. The enablement comes from the Grace of God who strengthens our hands and enables us to persevere.


Heavenly Father, in the face of slander and opposition, help me to turn to you for strength and seek your empowering presence to diligently carry out the work you've called me to do. Grant me resilience and wisdom to respond to challenges with trust in your guidance, working hard in dependence on your unfailing strength. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.




DAILY word study: FRIGHTEN The term "frighten" in Nehemiah 6:9 is translated from the Hebrew word "חָתַת" (chatath). In biblical usage, this word often conveys the idea of fear, dismay, or intimidation. It reflects a state of being alarmed or terrified. It captures the emotional and psychological impact of intimidation. It reflects a state of being deeply troubled and alarmed.

Examples of Biblical Usage:**

  • Genesis 3:10 (NIV): "He answered, 'I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.'"

Adam, after disobeying God, experiences fear and a sense of vulnerability.

  • Exodus 20:18 (NIV): "When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance."

The Israelites, witnessing the divine manifestation at Mount Sinai, were filled with fear.

In Nehemiah 6:9, the adversaries sought to frighten Nehemiah by spreading false rumours and fabricating a narrative that implied a threat to his life. This was a tactic to induce fear and disrupt the courageous work of rebuilding the wall.


Consider a situation in your life where you faced intimidation or attempts to induce fear. How did you respond, and what lessons did you learn from that experience?

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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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