Nehemiah 4:11-15

As I said the other day, I am trying to refine the Daily Encouragement to make it more helpful. So, I have brought the Shorter Catechism ‘study’ up in the order. I have done this so that the order after that is reading God’s Word, considering it, singing, and giving thanks. Thank you for being patient with me in this as I seek to get a balance that will provide the opportunity for the greatest blessing to you.
 
Opening Prayer Thoughts
 
Prayer of praise and confession.
     Praise God that He is God and that He never changes. He is the only constant in our lives. Praise God for the wonderful privilege of knowing Him (Malachi 3:6).
     Confess the sin of looking for stability in our lives through and in other relationships.



Truth for the Mind and Heart.
Westminster Shorter Catechism Question 26 – How does Christ fill the office of a king?
Answer – Christ fills the office of a king in making us his willing subjects, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.
This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Comment – As Mediator King, the Lord Jesus was given, for His obedience throughout His life to His death on the Cross, all authority in heaven and on earth. Living in Christ means that we receive him as our Saviour and submit to Him as our King. So, what matters in our lives is how we respond to His Word/commands.
 

Memory Verses to lay into your heart and mind. 
It is a privilege to lay into our hearts and minds the light and truth of God's Word. 
James 1:2-4a, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect,”



Please ask the Holy Spirit's help as you come to his Word.
Please read Nehemiah 4:11-15.
Notes previously prepared by Rev. Dr. Tim Donachie, with slight amendments.
 
Attack.
Not only were some of the builders discouraged because of the enormity of the task and their own lack of resources, they now had to face the prospect of their enemies not just trying to stop the work, but to kill them. It is uncertain whether or not the enemies knew of the discouragement that some of the builders were experiencing, but it is certain that Satan was well aware of it and prompted those wicked men to attack when God's people were at a low ebb. Such is the work of the evil one who will attack God's people when they are discouraged, depressed, tired or self-confident. The plan was to attack secretly, at a time when the builders were not alert. It was for that very reason that Nehemiah had set up guards, day and night. Spiritual defeat comes upon the child of God when he drops his guard and does not remain watchful for the temptations of the devil. Nehemiah's enemies had sought to stop the work by mockery and threats, but they had realised that such was the commitment and dedication of the builders that the only way that they could be stopped was by killing them.
                How often has this been seen in the history of the church when persecution has broken out against the people of God. Seventeenth century Covenanters were doing nothing more than proclaiming the Word of God, and denouncing compromise and wickedness as they sought to build the kingdom of God, and yet they were pursued, persecuted, and killed in an attempt to stop the work. Unfortunately, this cannot always be said of every child of God. For many, the devil does not have to kill them because discouragement, compromise, money, relationships, frustration, or trouble get them to stop serving God.
 
Danger of Attack.
The enemies of God's people believed that their plan to attack and kill the builders was secret; they said, “They will not know or see till we come among them”. Their plan, however, was known to the Lord, and He caused friendly Jews living nearby to hear of the wicked scheme. There was evidently a sense of alarm and panic as they rushed up to the builders to let them know what was afoot! On hearing the news, Nehemiah did not panic but put a plan in action to deal most effectively with the situation that had presented itself.
                a. He considered very carefully where the weakest parts of the walls were, places where the enemy was most likely to attack. There is a lesson here in the spiritual warfare – the devil knows our weakest points, and we need to be aware of them too, so that we can strengthen them.
                b. He made sure that the people were sufficiently well armed to be able to face the enemy. So, in the spiritual battle, God's people are to constantly take up the whole armour of God, Ephesians. 6:11.
                c. He stationed the people together in families. They would fight more vigorously if their own family was under threat. In our fight against spiritual wickedness, it is often the family that comes under attack, and it is the responsibility of parents, in the spiritual fight, to protect and defend their children.
                d. He reminded them that they were not fighting for themselves, and that they were not fighting by themselves. This was the Lord's battle and would be fought in the Lord's name, in the strength of the Lord, and for the glory of the Lord.



Sing with joy in your heart to God.
Psalm 124. Link to the words. Link to it being sung.
 

Thank God
Thank God that, though we wrestle and struggle against the evil one, ultimately the battle is the Lord’s, and we are to engage in it by the conviction that comes from knowing Him and His love for us.
 
Take care in Christ,
Andrew 
 
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley
Minister, Ottawa RPC