Standing With Our Brothers

Hope, Healing & Freedom Podcast: Episode 93


Standing with our brothers podcast

What is it like to be under attack? What should the church do when we are under attack? In today’s podcast we are going to look at a picture of how the people of God responded to being attacked and what we can learn for our lives.

I’m Lee Whitman from Restoring the Foundations and I welcome you into this Hope Healing and Freedom Podcast. We are in a battle. The kingdom of darkness is trying to defeat the Kingdom of God and the church of Jesus Christ is the battle ground. I think it is quite normal to be attacked by our enemies and we can actually be unaware that we are being attacked. Why are we unaware of these attacks? It seems like if we were under attack we would know it, right. We don’t recognize the attacks because we have grown accustomed to the attacks. They have become normal to us, so we naively accept the results without even putting up a fight. 

God has given us an example of what it looks like to fight this battle. I am going to compare the story of Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem to the battles we must fight in our lives. When you have time, I encourage you to read the entire book of Nehemiah, which is only seven chapters. I will be pulling bits and pieces from the book for this podcast.

The story begins when Nehemiah learns that the walls of his beloved city of Jerusalem are broken down after years of the city being held in captivity. He is so grieved over the condition of Jerusalem that his boss, who happens to be the King sees that his countenance is saddened. The king asked Nehemiah what was wrong, and Nehemiah told him about the condition of his beloved Jerusalem and boldly asks if the king would allow him to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. He also asked the king to write letters of permission to pass through the territories that Nehemiah would have to travel through. He was granted his request and he returned to Jerusalem.

Here is where the part of the story that I want to focus on begins.

Nehemiah 2:10 says “When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite [a]official heard of it, they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.” People were against the nation of Israel even back then.

Lesson number one from this story. When you are trying to follow God and do good things not everyone will like it. There is often opposition to the things of God. Sometimes the opposition is very obvious, but other times the opposition comes from unexpected places. Sometimes the opposition comes from people you thought were on your side.

As they prepare to begin the work on the walls, they receive another attack.

Nehemiah 2:19-20 says “But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite [a]official, and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked us and despised us, and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 So I answered them and said to them, “The God of heaven will make us successful; therefore, we His servants will arise and build, but you have no part, right, or memorial in Jerusalem.” I love this guy Nehemiah. In the face of strong opposition Nehemiah does not back down. He stands firm in the Lord and tells these enemies to go away. Nehemiah stood on the truth that he had the permission of the King to rebuild these walls. So, what the three enemies tried to tell him was not the truth but rather a lie attempting to get Nehemiah and the people to quit.

Lesson number two: We have an enemy who is a liar. His native tongue is lies. He will come at you with his lies hoping to trick you into believing his lies and backing down from what God has called you to do. One of his favorite lies is to say things like, “Who do you think you are to try and do anything great.” Have you ever heard something like that? I know I have. And the best way to deal with these lies is to do what Nehemiah did; go back to the promises of God and tell the enemy that he has no right or place in your life. Use your authority as a child of the King and tell the enemy to go and leave you alone.

I want to point out something very exciting found in this story. Chapter three of Nehemiah is a list of all the people who worked on rebuilding the wall and what their specialty was. For example, it mentions that Joiada the son of Peseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeish repaired the Old Gate. What is so exciting about that? It says to me that God knew their names and their contribution to the rebuilding of the wall. Sometimes we can get the idea that who I am and what I do is not important to God. On the contrary, God had each of these workers names written in His book for all times because each one of them is important to Him. What we do is also important to him. Well, I am just a house painter, you might say. Yes, and that is important to God. He values and appreciates what you do. The scripture says that in everything you do, do all to the glory of God. If you paint houses, do it to the glory of God. He takes notice of your labor.

In chapter 4 the battle heats up. Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the construction was continuing, and they became very angry. These guys went from angry to very angry! They began hurling insults at the builders like, “If a fox should jump on this wall, it would break it down!”

Lesson number three: a tactic of the enemy is to hurl insults at us and at our God. I was teaching a Hope Healing and Freedom Seminar not long ago and I noticed a guy making fun of what I was teaching to his wife. My fleshly reaction was to confront him publicly and really humiliate him. Thank God I took that thought captive and did not respond that way. Instead, I just continued to teach the truth found in the seminar and I made it a point to make eye contact with him and his wife. It turned out to be a good strategy as both he and his wife greatly benefited from the conference. The enemies of God can’t confront us with truth, so they resort to insults. Insults only harm us if we allow them to. If you do not accept the insult, if you don’t give it place in your life, then the insult is harmless. Isaiah 54:17 says, “No weapon that is formed against you will succeed; And you will condemn every tongue that accuses you in judgment.” Why don’t the weapons formed against you succeed? Because you don’t let them succeed. If you will condemn the words spoken against you and not accept them and cast them down, then that weapon will not be successful.

When the insults didn’t work these enemies decide to sneak up on the workers and look for opportunities to put these workers to death. Nehemiah found out about their scheme, and he stationed men in the unfinished spaces of the wall to keep the enemies from entering. He also stationed the people in families with their swords, spears, and bows. Even with the people standing guard, some of the people were fearful of the enemies. So, Nehemiah spoke to the people saying, “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”

Lesson number three: We need each other. Notice how Nehemiah stationed people by families? There is strength in numbers sticking together. The name of our church is New Tribe. I love that because those people are my tribe. They are the place we run to when we need help. They are the place we run to when the enemy comes to attack so we can lock arms with one another. They are our family that will pick up the sword, the spear, and the bow to defend us. They are also the place where we can run to for encouragement. That’s what Nehemiah did. He strengthened the people with his encouragement. Many in the body of Christ have given up on the church believing that they don’t need to go to church to be a Christian. It is true that going to church does not make you a Christian. However, we need to be with other believers. As found in this story, we need help when it comes time to fight against our enemies. When we try and fight alone, we are vulnerable to being picked off by the enemy.

This story goes on to say that the building continued. From that day on half of the workers worked on the wall and the other half stood guard with their swords, spears, and bows. When the enemies saw the people guarding the workers, they quit their attack. I don’t believe that our enemy is courageous. From that day on the workers worked with one hand and held a sword in the other hand.

Lesson Number four: We can do what we are called to do by God and fight the enemy at the same time. At one time in the church there were those who thought that spiritual warfare was reserved for only a few people. Normal people did not need to do spiritual warfare. I know that is not true. We are all in a battle thus all of us need to know how to do spiritual warfare. I think all of us will be under attack while we live here on planet earth. Some recognize it and fight back; others accept the battle as just normal life, and they don’t fight.

So once the enemies quit attacking everything went smoothly, right? Wrong. The attacks now began to come from within the people instead of from outside. The people began complaining about the hard labor, the lack of food, and many other things. I’m glad we never do that. Oops. We do that don’t we. God blesses us in six ways, but we complain about the seventh way that think He didn’t bless us.

Lesson Number five; When fisherman don’t fish, they fight. What do I mean by that. When we are not actively involved in the mission that God has given us, we tend to get distracted and can easily become disgruntled and begin complaining. When we are busy bringing God’s Kingdom to earth and seeing Him working through us to those around us, we don’t have the time or the proclivity to get caught up in nonsense. When fisherman don’t fish, they begin finding fault with the other fisherman. 

So, what are the take-aways from this podcast.

Lesson number one from this story. When you are trying to follow God and do good things not everyone will like it. Just because you are following God and doing what He tells you to it doesn’t mean that others will always like what is going on. Living the Christian life takes courage.

Lesson number two: We have an enemy who is a liar. That is why it is vitally important to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Lesson number three: We need each other. It is vital that we are in relationship with people who are also following hard after God. We don’t need country club church. The times we live in are too dangerous for that. We need other believers who know how to fight these battles with us and sometimes on our behalf.

Lesson Number four: We can do what we are called to do by God and bring His Kingdom to earth and fight the enemy at the same time. Spiritual warfare is part of the Christian life. Get used to it. Learn more how to do spiritual warfare. We need it now, but it will be even more important in the future as the times may get darker.

Lesson Number five; When fisherman don’t fish, they fight. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop is an old proverb about being non-productive. It seems to be true in the church as well. When we are not being about the work of the Kingdom, then we are more susceptible to the attacks of the enemy. If you are unable to be actively involved in your local church, find some other way you can serve. I always thought being a greeter at Walmart would be a great way to bring the Kingdom to earth.


Father, help us not to get so isolated from the rest of the body of Christ that we are easy prey for the enemy. Would you show us if this is true for each one of us. Then would you place us in a family unit where we can be loved, encouraged, find protection, and receive spiritual food.  Thank you, Father, for giving us this picture in the story of Nehemiah. You are a good, good Father.

RTF Featured on The Shawn Bolz Show

On the second half of this week’s episode (May 20th 2024) of “The Shawn Bolz Show”  RTF directors, Lee and Cindi Whitman, were the guests. Watch for powerful insight and two special listener offers on products to help bring hope, healing, and freedom.