4 - Opposition from the Enemy & Perseverance
1. Intro: Have you ever had a project that you felt like
giving up on but paid dividends when you
stuck it through?
My kids. Short term person with a long term project like kids. I need
to be convinced that it is
long term valuable project.
V 1 - 6
2. Why is persistence important
as a Leader? What is the opposite negative quality? How can be
develop the quality of persistence?
Persistence and steadfastness is important in getting any task
completed. People will give up. The opposite of persistence is
laziness, not completing tasks, procrastinating.
Get a clear vision of the end
result. Have a clear goal at the beginning. Lay out a time line.
Evaluate progress. Check the team if one is involved.
3. Whenever God's work is protecting God's people, opposition seems to
rise up to defeat and de-rail the work. What was the nature of the
opposition? (Ridicule, Insults, mocking and jeering)
Why do you think Sanballat and Tobiah were seeking the demise of the
rebuilding of the wall?
If the city re-established itself then trade would move from their
cities to Jerusalem again. Greed, jealousy and possible financial loss.
It was on a trade route, if Jerusalem was a secure
city, traders would once again make that a stop on their journey to
4. How did Nehemiah counter the
opposition? What was his first line of defense?
He prayed an inclusive prayer
and continued working.
5. What did Nehemiah see as the solution to the opposition according to
God would punish them. God revenge, retributive justice.
6. What was the response of the people in verse 6?
They continued working with all their heart and
got the wall half way up.
V. 7 - 9
7. What was the next plan of
the enemy? Why do you think Sanballat and company were angry? (
threats and plot to attack the builders)
Was to fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble
8. How did Nehemiah respond to this second threat? How was morale of
the people at this point?
Called a prayer meeting and
posted a guard day and night.
9. There was a third response
by the enemy - what was it?
Sneak up on them, kill them and
put an end to their work. The workers from out of town were
beginning to believe the enemy and spread fear among the other workers
Note the progression of the opposition. Jeering, plot to fight , plan
10. What was the response of the people building the wall? How did
Nehemiah organize to counter
this threat? How did he organize the people?
They were afraid so Nehemiah posted guards at the lowest points and
11. How did Nehemiah rally the people and keep the project on track?
What two things did he
do? V 14
He reminded them that God would fight for them. He challenged them to
fight for their brothers,
families and friends. He set up people weapons next to those working.
Some worked with one hand
and had a weapon in the other.
12. On whom did Nehemiah keep the focus ( v. 4:9, 14, 20)
He kept the focus on great and awesome
God who would fight for them.
13. Nehemiah had a sidekick who would rush to the place of need and
sound the alarm. Do we have
friends that can help us in the hour of need?( v. 4:18)
Make a commitment to find someone to be a prayer partner or
14. The battle lines are drawn and every person was ready for battle -
they had their swords, spears
and other weapons ready beside them. Are you equipped for the spiritual
battle that is raging? Do you carry your weapons with you? ( Eph 6:11 -
18; 2 Cor 10:4,5)
Satan has an agenda to work against the spiritual life of believers,
discouragement, treats if we
seek the welfare of weak or godly people. Ridicule, Prayer, dialogue,
the word of God, Bring on
the power of the Holy Spirit
15. How do you respond to opposition? Do you get distracted, challenged
to work harder, give up,
get frustrated, complain, seek new solutions, trust God more, etc...
I sometimes get frustrated. Wonder why. Withdraw a little, Try to do my
homework to make sure
that my spiritual concerns are biblical and if there could be some
truth to the opposition's
remarks. Cry out to God.
16. What kind of opposition have you faced? How did you respond to it?
My personal opposition has been things like not using "I pray this In
the name of Jesus" at the end of a prayer, Use of King James Version vs
NIV, Evil one attacking my children, some not wanting to do a film
series for Sunday Evening
I suggested starting a new
church plant. - Leadership said No - I respected their decision, and
waited on God.
17. What challenges is the church facing? What kind of solutions has
God given you to overcome
these challenges? Are you busy overcoming?
Worldly music, reaching out to the lost, lack of male leadership, Time
and Culturalization of the Scriptures,
18. When we run into roadblocks sometimes it is important to discuss
problem with a close
friend. Is there someone else that you can share your heart with?
Max Lucado's book on Nehemiah p. 84
More verses on perseverance -
Luke 8:35; 1 Tim 4:16; Heb 10:35, 36; 12:5; James 1:3,4,12;
5:11; Rev 2:2,3