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The Scheming Tactics of Kingdom Enemies, Part 5 - (The Enemy's Tactic of Expediency)

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | November 29, 2023 | Nehemiah 6:10-12


But I said, 'Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!'" Nehemiah 6:11


Nehemiah faced an expedient tactic from his enemies, who attempted to lure him into a compromising situation by exploiting a supposed threat to his life. Shemaiah's suggestion to seek refuge in the temple appears as an offer of safety but is a ploy to tarnish Nehemiah's integrity. Expediency refers to a given situation when an action or decision is considered convenient if it is chosen for its immediate benefit or effectiveness, often without necessarily considering long-term consequences or adherence to moral principles. Expediency involves making choices based on what is most suitable or advantageous in the present circumstances, even if it may not align with broader principles or values.

The enemy was subtle and tried to use one of the "prophets", someone Nehemiah thought to be "safe" and trustworthy, to get him to compromise! Shemaiah claimed to be a prophet of God, yet he urged Nehemiah to do what was allowed only for the priests, but Nehemiah was not a priest, and had no right of access to the temple itself. King Uzziah, trespassing, was fortunate to escape with no more than leprosy (2 Ch. 26:16ff; cf. Nu 18:7). Nehemiah, had he tried to save himself in such a way would have lost, possibly, his life, certainly his honour and would have jeopardized the very cause he had at heart. To enter and shut himself in the Holy Place would have been a desecration of the house of God and would have caused people to question his reverence for God. This show of fear, and even cowardice, would be a lack of trust in God and would undermine the confidence of the people in his leadership.

Nehemiah demonstrated keen discernment in recognizing the ulterior motive behind the seemingly benevolent invitation. Instead of succumbing to fear, he maintained his commitment to God's calling and refused to compromise his principles for the sake of personal safety. The enemy often employs expedient tactics—quick, seemingly advantageous solutions—to derail God's work and compromise our convictions. Nehemiah's steadfast refusal to take an expedient route reminds us of the importance of remaining true to our calling, even in the face of apparent shortcuts.


In what areas of your life are you susceptible to the enemy’s tactic of expedience, where quick solutions may compromise your integrity or divert you from God’s purpose? Beware of the “Shemaiahs”, for they are well alive and around with their expedient tactics to destroy your life and ministry. They will appear as “Men of God”, and “Prophets of God” but they are agents of the enemy. Beware!


Heavenly Father, grant me the wisdom and discernment to recognize the enemy's tactics of expediency in my life. Help me stand resolute in my commitment to your calling, even when faced with seemingly advantageous shortcuts that compromise my integrity. May my choices always align with your will, in Jesus' name, I pray. Amen



DAILY word study: I WILL NOT GO

The phrase "I will not go" in Hebrew is אֵינֶנִי הוֹלֵךְ (eineni holech). Breaking it down:

  1. The Hebrew phrase אֵינֶנִי (eineni): is a strong negation, emphasizing "I will not" or "I am not."

  2. while הוֹלֵךְ (holech): has its root word as "to go" or "to walk." In the context of our Key Verse, Nehemiah is declaring his refusal to walk into the suggested trap.

The phrase "I will not go" or a similar sentiment is found in various places in the Bible, often conveying a strong resolve or commitment. For example:

Genesis 39:7-10 (NIV):

Verse 8: "But he refused. 'With me in charge,' he told her, 'my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care.'"

In the story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife, Joseph refuses her advances, declaring his commitment to his master and to God. His refusal reflects a dedication to moral principles and loyalty.

Exodus 32:31-32 (NIV):

Verse 32: "But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written."

In a different context, Moses expresses a willingness to be blotted out of God's book if it would mean forgiveness for the people of Israel. This is a profound declaration of commitment and sacrificial love.

These instances, while different in context, share the theme of individuals standing firm in their convictions, whether in matters of morality or interceding for others.

In our Key Verse for today's devotional, Nehemiah faced a critical moment in his mission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. His adversaries, Sanballat and others, attempted to lure him into a compromising situation, urging him to seek refuge in the temple to save his life. Nehemiah's response is resolute and marked by a deep sense of commitment. Nehemiah's statement: "I will not go" aligns with a broader biblical theme of unwavering commitment to principles, whether moral integrity, loyalty, or sacrificial love. It encourages believers to hold fast to their convictions, even in the face of pressure or temptation.

Nehemiah's refusal is not merely a rejection of a physical invitation but a declaration of his steadfast faith and trust in God. He recognizes that compromising his integrity would jeopardize the work and compromise the purpose for which he was called. It's a powerful example of standing firm in the face of temptation and remaining faithful to God's call.


How can the examples of Joseph, Moses, and Nehemiah inspire us to maintain our commitment to moral principles, loyalty, and sacrificial love in our daily lives even when faced with tempting shortcuts or compromises?

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