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3rd in a series on Nehemiah's prayers …

3rd in a series on Nehemiah's prayers
Nehemiah is being attacked by Sandballat and Tobias. The wall project must go on! But the need is great! Pray for protection! Imprecatory prayers are Biblical.

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  • “Hands Up, Hands Off” = whenever I am being attacked, held up by an enemy, I will keep my hands off of retaliation or vengeance, leaving that with God
  • “Anger will often be the world’s response to God’s work because it challenges worldviews and values.” Mervin Brenemen, p.193“It is the anger or people who were uncertain what to expect or what to do.” F Charles Fensham, p.1805 questions, some of them subtly phrased to require a negative answer. “The audience could reach only one conclusion: these Jews were good for nothing.” Fensham“feeble Jews” – an attack on their sensitivities, insecurities (Breneman)a. fading plants (Isa 16:8, 24:7) (Fensham)b. people without hope (Isa 19:8; Hos 4:3) (Fensham)c. “weakness through failure of the normal strength-giving agencies” H G M Williamson“restore the wall?” – an attack on the wisdom of the project (Breneman)“offer sacrifices?” – ridiculed their faith, trust in God “Did they think prayer and sacrifice would make the wall grow?” Brenemena. “to ridicule their ability to complete their work in a short time” Fensham“can they bring stones back to life” – an attack on their method, but the stones were not all burned up!a. may have been superstitious against burned (=cursed) stones (Fensham)b. “not only would stones blackened by fire be less than satisfactory for rebuilding, but inasmuch as it was limestone, it could have been considerably weakened and may have even crumbled. In effect, the ruins were beyond repair.” Williamson, p.216
  • Hezekiah, Sennacherib (2 Kgs 19:14-19)

Transcript

  • 1. “Vengeance is Mine”Nehemiah 4:1-6
  • 2. Ridicule and Abuse• Sandballat did not like the work beingdone. (4:1)• He turned his influential friends againstthe work too. (4:2)• Tobiah told a joke about a little foxknocking over the wall. (4:3)
  • 3. Not Laughing• Nehemiah was not laughing.• He prayed an imprecatory prayer. (4:4-5)– You have heard how we are being abused.– You are in charge of defending our honor.– Let them know what it feels like to be us.– Don’t let them get away with this.= divine justice, judgment againstsin, action by God, for His work and glory
  • 4. Leading"The real test of a leader is how he or shefaces crises and reacts to opposition."Mervin Brenemen
  • 5. Back to Work• Nehemiah and his crew trusted Godwith dispatching the bullies.• They went back to work with a newresolve. (4:6)• God encouraged their hearts andblessed their work.
  • 6. Our Prayers• Trust God to call, equip and moveleaders to lead towards His projects.• Lay out theletters, comments, manipulativeschemes before God.– Refuse to get entangled in a defensiveconfrontation with the naysayers.– Let God thwart disobedience and blessobedience.• Ask for a heart and mind for His work.
  • 7. Our Prayers• and then get up from prayer and work!