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The Scheming Tactics of Kingdom Enemies, Part 6 - (The Enemy's Tactic of Setup)

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | November 30, 2023 | Nehemiah 6:12-14


¹²I realized that God had not sent him, …. ¹³He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me. Nehemiah 6:12-13 (NIV)


Nehemiah continued to battle the scheming tactics of the enemy and in this passage, Nehemiah encounters a supposed prophet who attempts to deceive him into taking refuge in the temple. Nehemiah, discerning the deceptive nature of this encounter, realizes that the prophet was a hired instrument of Tobiah and Sanballat, designed to create a compromising situation leading to sin and subsequent discrediting. The enemy often employs tactics of setup, orchestrating deceptive scenarios aimed at causing believers to stumble.

Nehemiah's clarity in recognizing the orchestrated nature of the setup highlights the importance of spiritual discernment to avoid falling into traps that compromise our integrity. The ultimate goal of the setup was not just to intimidate Nehemiah but to discredit him. The enemy seeks to tarnish the character of God's servants through schemes that lead to compromise. Nehemiah's steadfastness in resisting the setup serves as a powerful example for believers facing similar challenges. Satan cannot stand a man of integrity and will always try to ruin his reputation, entice him into sin, tempt him in every way possible and twist the Word of God as Satan did when he tempted Christ in the wilderness. Satan loves this tactic of entrapment or setup because our sinful nature plays right into his hand.

A good reputation built up over a lifetime can be lost very quickly in the foolishness of chasing after the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life (1 John 2:15-17). Don’t take someone’s advice just because they claim to have God’s perspective on the situation. Check things out in line with the word of God and the deeper promptings of the Holy Spirit. Nehemiah prayed again: “Remember, O my God, Tobiah and Sanballat according to these works of theirs, and also Noadiah the prophetess and the rest of the prophets who were trying to frighten me” (vrs14). He appealed to God’s faithful judgement: Remember Me; Remember my enemies, my attackers. Because God remembers, we don’t have to! Don’t keep repeating injustice in your mind.


Do you believe everything you hear? Do you search the Scriptures yourself to see that the counsel you are being given is biblical? Are you easy to deceive? Consider the broader impact of setups on one’s witness and credibility, stand firm against intimidation, and maintain a steadfast commitment to God’s principles, even in the face of orchestrated schemes.


Dear Lord, thank you for the promise of your ever-abiding presence. Please grant me the discernment to recognize the enemy's tactics of set up in my life and help me see through deceptive scenarios designed to lead me into sin. May my life reflect your integrity, and may I trust in your guidance to navigate the schemes of the enemy. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.



DAILY word study: HIRED

The Hebrew word translated as "hired" in this Nehemiah 6:12-13 is "sākīr" (שָׂכִיר). In its general usage, it denotes someone hired for a wage or reward. However, this specific narrative, takes on a metaphorical sense, suggesting manipulation or subversion for personal gain.

The term "hired" in Nehemiah 6:12-13 refers to a deceptive tactic employed by Sanballat and Tobiah in an attempt to intimidate Nehemiah. They sought to create a false impression, implying that Nehemiah had hired prophets to speak on his behalf, insinuating an ulterior motive behind his leadership.

This tactic of false accusation has parallels in the Bible, such as the false witnesses against Jesus during His trial (Matthew 26:59-61). In both cases, the intent is to discredit a leader through deceptive means.

The adversaries' accusation of Nehemiah hiring prophets reveals a cunning strategy to undermine his credibility. By framing Nehemiah's leadership as financially motivated, they aimed to create suspicion among the people and divert attention from the real threat posed by external enemies.

The incident prompts reflection on how deceptive strategies can be employed even in the pursuit of God's work. It serves as a reminder to be discerning and resilient in the face of false accusations and to uphold integrity in leadership.


How can the example of Nehemiah's response to false accusations inspire us to maintain integrity and resilience when faced with deceptive tactics in our own spheres of influence?

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