In verse 1, the enemy had heard the news that the work was almost finished; and with only doors to be hung in the gates, there would soon be absolutely no breaches in the wall to sneak through. The enemy began to panic. They realized that threats and doubts would not bring Nehemiah down, so they attempted to distract him from his work with new temptation and flirtatious pursuit. They falsely assumed that seeking to butter him up would cause him to believe they were not out to get him, but Nehemiah was too smart for this deception.
When my husband and I were living separately, I triumphed over the many of the same attacks that the enemy had heaped upon Nehemiah. This particular attack was no different. I remember well the time period that this began happening to me; I had settled into the peace that no matter the outcome, God had me. I had peace; the mind tricks hadn’t worked, the self-doubt hadn’t worked, the confusion was gone, so the enemy decided to take a new approach- temptation. It started with an inundation of Facebook requests from men I had gone to school with, then there were old coworkers… It was like they were coming out of the woodwork. I imagine the enemy had to be very creative with this one since I work from home and have almost zero social interactions with the opposite sex; but I am aware that is a special case, and most of you probably have access to plenty of temptation.
Nehemiah understood two things about this situation. First, that what seemed to be so tempting and alluring from the outside was actual sent to destroy him, and second, that he was in the midst of a battle that could not be ended prematurely if anything he had fought for was to come to fruition. In verse 3, Nehemiah delivers a famous line in response to the offer he received, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down.” Instead of giving in to what looked like a better option, he stood his ground and continued his work. The wall was built. All that was left was the doors on the gates. The enemy was making their final attempts to destroy the works that Nehemiah had spent all of his time investing into. If Nehemiah had given up at this point, what might have happened?
Don’t give in to temptation when you are fighting a battle that you know is right. Don’t be led astray by the desire to end your fight or the temptation of beginning a new relationship; this is nothing but the enemy! Remember why you are standing in the first place. Nehemiah’s enemies actually made the same offer to him four times! The enemy won’t rest knowing that there is still at least one small place to get in. But Nehemiah was wise, and he responded the same way each time because his work was too valuable to have wasted. We must look at our stand as that work, a passionate decision to do what we know is right.
Let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in doing the right thing, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint. Galatians 6:9
Can you identify where the enemy has tried to use this attack on you?
What is your reason for standing?
What could you lose if you choose to give in to temptation?