Nehemiah Chapter 4:1-6
Sanballat's Initial Attack: Confuse that mind.
by I Gordon
"we built the wall and the whole wall was joined to half its height, for the people had a mind to work." Isn't that great? The enemy can be resisted and the work of building a strong salvation can be achieved but it comes from renewing your mind with the truth. Isn't this one of the hardest and longest lessons that we need to learn? Just when we think that we have learned how to bring the Lord into our situations, a different situation arises and suddenly we find ourselves acting like we are totally alone, not even knowing the Lord! But we shouldn't be conformed to those in the world and how they operate but we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds as Romans 12:2 states. That closes this first attack but it's certainly not the last they will face. With the mockery and fear tactics not working, a more confrontational approach now seemed the order of the day.
 ↩ But believe me, on the whole he is good at keeping things hidden! Given the statement ''Satan is not a living being but a symbol of evil' 62% agreed in a recent survey. Now we can expect this from the world and shouldn't be surprised, but this one is a shock - of those that called themselves 'born again Christians', 52% agreed. And just for interest sake, 72% of Catholics agreed, and split between the sexes, 64% of women agreed, 59% of men agreed.
 ↩ So, what does the bible tell us about him? He is spoken of in seven OT books and by every NT writer.
NAMES: Satan (adversary), Devil (slanderer), Lucifer (son of the morning), Beelzebub (Lord of the flies)
TITLES: Evil One (1John 5:19), Tempter (1Thess3:5), Prince of this world (John 12:31), God of this age (2Cor 4:4) Accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10)
REPRESENTATIONS: Serpent (Cunning, wise, Rev 12:9), Dragon (Powerful, Rev 12:3), Angel of Light (Deception, 2Cor 11:14), Lion (Devourer, 1Pet5:8)
NATURE: He is - A Spirit Being (Eph 6:11-12), The highest of all angelic creatures (Ezek 28:12), A murderer (John 8:44), A liar (John 8:44), A Confirmed Sinner (1John 3:8), An accuser (Rev 12:10), An adversary (1Pet 5:8)
 ↩ The hatred of Satan (Sanballat) is, first and foremost, towards God. It was Gods throne that he thought he should be above! Filled with pride, he still desires to 'be like the most high!' His consuming ambition then, is to destroy the work of God - that which God loves. That is why he immediately attacked Adam & Eve - that which was the highest in Gods creation and called 'very good!' Fortunately, the last Adam wasn't so easy. His hatred of us then, is not that personal but due to the fact that we are God's workmanship.
 ↩ So you blew it? You are not alone. The same doubts, fear and mockery that Nehemiah and his builders faced, have been thrown down for quite a while. Sanballat's doubts were in the garden with "has God really said 'You shall not eat from any tree in the garden?' and even with the Lord saying 'If you are the Son of God...' His fear was placed upon Peter who even denied knowing the Lord to a little girl. Peters three denials seem very much to be the result of Satan's request to 'sift Peter like wheat.' Or, through his subtlety, Satan can even lift you up with pride. We read in 1Chron 21:1 "Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.' A huge sin costing many lives. It is with this in mind that Paul said that elders must "not be a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation of the devil" (1Tim3:6) All these people fell to attacks in the mind.
 ↩ Just thinking of John 8:44 which says 'Whenever he (Satan) speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.' Contrast this with God who, according to Titus 1:2 'cannot lie'! So believe God's word not the doubts that come into your mind!
Related Series Posts
- Nehemiah 1 Bible Study The Christian's Life and Warfare
- Nehemiah 2: The Reproach, the Rock & the Rubble
- Nehemiah 3 Bible Study Gates of Jerusalem & Spiritual Progress
- Nehemiah 4: Sanballat's Initial Attack - Confuse that mind.
- Nehemiah 4: Sanballat's Second Attack - Physical Persecution
- Nehemiah 4 Bible Study Our Stand, The Armour of God
- Nehemiah 6: The Trump Card - Geshem and Worldly Compromise.
- Nehemiah 6: Our Defense - Recognising the great work
- Nehemiah 6: Sanballat Strikes Back - The angel of light!
- Nehemiah 7: The Last Enemy - Tobiah that 'good' man!
- Nehemiah 13: Tobiah Part 2 - Get him off the throne!