The BFF Digital Libraries

Facebook BFFBFF is now on Facebook! Please visit and join us in releasing God's powerful Word to our generation!

God's peace can help us live above anxieties as we learn to trust in Him!

The Lord Your Healer: 

Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch by Paul J. Bucknell

Newest! The Lord Your Healer

Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch

First step of discipleship
revive devotions
Advanced Discipleship

The Bible Teaching Commentary on Genesis: The Book of Foundations

Commentaries that specialize on training the teacher!

Overcoming Anxiety: Finding Peace, Discovering God


Building an Impenetrable Defense through Prayer

Our Forgotten Defense

Nehemiah 4

Paul J. Bucknell

Purpose: Work on the details in accomplishing our task (Nehemiah 4). God shows us how to stand the storms of challenge in four different ways: Know our enemy, know the enemy's plans, defend ourselves and plan for a long battle.

The simpleton lives without thought for the difficulties he will run into through life. With the simplest challenge to his plans, he gives up and runs another way.

The general, on the other hand, has gained his honor from thinking most about what the naive doesn't think of. He has thought well what he wants to do and has confidence on the ability to do it, but one thing more. He has calculated a plan to carry it out.

He has designed his plans in such a way the enemy cannot frustrate his plans.

In playing chess, an amateur is easily spotted not in his great plans but in his unsupported plans. He has great goals and ambitious plans but underestimates his enemy. A big balloon needs only a tiny hole to strip it of its glory.

Many a Christian has gone into battle unprepared. They have not realized how much the enemy has protected its treasures. We don't blame the new Christian, who is filled with eagerness, but those who could have known better. The scriptures are given to us that we might not fail but be strong and courageous.

"For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (Romans 15:4, NASB).

One would think that the old Jerusalem fallen from her glory would no longer be a concern to the enemy. This was not so.

Nehemiah was alert to the adversary and purposely evaded them until he could bring the full plan to the people without any distortion (Nehemiah 2:9-20).

The enemy prized her broken down walls; he wanted them to keep them that way. But more than this, the enemy wanted broken walls so that God's people would not be protected and shielded. He wanted them to be easily subjected to his manipulations that nothing of great seriousness could be taken on by God's people.

We could say the same thing about this world. Who would think that the evil one would think twice about bothering with the spiritually dead zombies walking across the face of the globe. Snared is snared; dead is dead. Perhaps the evil one does not believe that God has a way to undermine his advantage. However, God did exactly this one thing through declaring that Jesus died on the cross for His people's sin and set them free from the evil one through faith in Christ!

Just as in Nehemiah's time, restored walls meant a new community of God's people, so the gospel was the means of liberating the slaves of satan to be sons of freedom in God's kingdom.

Nehemiah faced all sorts of difficulties in trying to rebuild Jerusalem's wall. The novice, amateur and unseasoned will be surprised by the surge of difficulty in what seemed to be a mundane affair. The older and experienced Christian is not surprised. He has been caught, no doubt, in a fiery storm that lashed against his path in the past. He wishes that he had more sense and to be better protected. But the lost is lost, the dead and dead.

Nehemiah 4 is given to us to provide this needed sense to the unprepared so that we do not fail in our task.

Ambition must be planted in good prepared soil to suceed.

God cautions and advises us on how to do this in Nehemiah 4. The cautions would mean nothing before the vision caught our heart, but having received the courage to take on God's task, observed the scope (chapter 2) and made general plans of attack (chapter 3), we now have to work on the details in accomplishing our task (chapter 4).

We might think that bringing the gospel to the ends of the world will not suffer challenges, but we would be deadly mistaken. God shows us how to stand the storms of challenge in four different ways: Know our enemy, know the enemy's plans, defend ourselves and plan for a long battle.

A. Know Your Enemy Well (Nehemiah 4:1,7)
The cause of problems we have.
B. Know the Enemy's Plans (Nehemiah 4:2-3; 7-8; 10-12)
The kinds of problems one might face.
C. Choose the Right Defense (Nehemiah 4:4-6; 9-15)
The kinds of defenses we need.
D. Maintaining Our Defesne (Nehemiah 4:16-23)
The ongoing defense.

A. Know Your Enemy Well (Nehemiah 4:1,7) The cause of problem

Every attack has its leaders who are committing to destroying its enemies. Nehemiah did not have to look for them to find them. They revealed themselves when he came to the city. He was aware there might be opposition to God's work. We do note that all of these opponents were from the other lands around such as Sanballat the Hornonite, the Tobiah the Ammonite official, Geshom the Arab and the Ashdodites. Sanballat was their unofficial leader.

Some people would have compromised their standards and welcomed them in to join them. Nehemiah risked the relationship for the sake of obedience and purity. Nehemiah refused to give them part. Money, influence and help might look tempting but when it comes from the enemy, know that something is wrong!

One should note how many times these opposers to God's work are identified, named, and exposed just in these few chapters.

B. Know the Enemy's Plans (Nehemiah 4:2-3; 7-8; 10-12)
The kinds of problems

The enemy already tried to detour Nehemiah early on in chapter 2. We will focus on the two means they undermined Nehemiah's work in chapter 4.

#1) The first plan was to demobilize the workers by demoralizing them. They said all sorts of things against them. They discouraged them. They criticized their work.

Mocked the Jews


Conjured up feelings

"What are these feeble Jews doing?"

Made them feel inferior by calling them 'feeble.'

"We can't do it"

Nehemiah 4:2

Are they going to restore it for themselves?

Criticized their ability to rule it. Exposed thier weakness of organization.

"We don't know how to carry out things!"

Nehemiah 4:2

"Can they offer sacrifices?"

Ridiculed their impoverished condition. Pointed out their lack of wealth to carry it out.

"We don't have money even for the sacrifices!"

Nehemiah 4:2

"Can they finish in a day?"

Taunted them that they won't be able to finish this huge task.

"We won't be able to finish this task!"

Nehemiah 4:2

"Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble even the burned ones?"

Reminded them of the difficult work ahead. Even if they used the stones that were in place, it would take tremendous amount of effort.

"We can't carry out this operation of such a magnitude!"

Nehemiah 4:2


This article concludes here.