Nehemiah Chapter 6:1-9
The Trump Card: Geshem and Worldly Compromise.
by I Gordon
 ↩ Yes, yes, I know. They still had gaps where the gates should be so they still had to be on their toes, but what I was meaning is that no longer could the enemy just ride on in and take what he wanted. They were at last protected! Alright??
 ↩ Yeah he does. And look at how the enemies' tactics seldom change! Jesus was speaking to his disciples and he told them a parable about the sower sowing seed. Please read the whole parable and explanation in Matt 13:1-23. For the lazy and semi-illiterate try the chart below:
From the parable we see three stages to stop the seed from growing:
1) Satan tries to snatch the word, before it can begin to grow, through the mind (No wall, mind games - Neh 4:1-6)
2) If the seed does grow, begin trials and persecutions (Wall going up, physical persecutions start Neh 4:7-15)
3) For the strong seed, fully grown, choke with worldliness (Full Wall, enter Geshem's call of compromise! Neh 6:1-9)
4) Seed in good soil, strong plant bearing much fruit. (Completed wall, strong salvation, all enemies defeated)
 ↩ Worldliness is written about quite a bit in the NT. I guess John gives the best definition: 'Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father, but is from the world." (1John 2:15-16). James probably shows how serious it is for our relationship with God. "You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (James 4:4) He also gives us Gods heart in the matter when he writes "Or do you think that the scripture speaks to no purpose: 'He JEALOUSLY desires the Spirit which he made to dwell among us.' " (James 4:5) Job shows us the stupidity of it all "They send forth their little ones like the flock, and their children skip about. They sing to the timbrel and harp and rejoice at the sound of the flute. They spend their days in prosperity, and suddenly they go down to Sheol. They say to God 'Depart from us! We do not even desire the knowledge of your ways. Who is the Almighty that we should serve him! And what do we gain if we entreat him?'
 ↩ It never ceases to amaze me how much the gospel has been changed lately to accommodate worldliness and the love of money. It's not uncommon to hear things like 'we are the kings kids so we should live like it' or 'Jesus was rich so I'm only walking in his ways'. What a joke! If you hear drivel like this, I advise you to re-read Jesus' letter to the Laodicean church in Revelation 3:14-22. He speaks there of what is considered true riches (vs 18) and no wonder He is pictured as outside of the church!
 ↩ Just heard a report about China and the underground churches. For years they have been persecuted mentally and physically, but the church has been growing in huge numbers even in the midst of this persecution. Just recently however as China has been opening up a lot more to the west, the new enemy worldliness has entered, which the Chinese Christians have not faced before. The report I heard was that many are finding this harder for their Christian lives than persecution and imprisonment. The young Christians are asking the older Christians how to cope with it, which at this time, they have no answer to.
 ↩ There are different kinds of fears - Peladophobia (the fear of bald people), and Chaetophobia (the fear of hairy people) being two of the stranger examples. But what is the fear of man? It is an unhealthy worry or concern about what people think of you, or will do to you. It leads to trying to please man, not God. It's huge and a great tactic of Satan's. It is said in the bible to be a snare or a trap that immobilises you! (Proverbs 29:25)
 ↩ Even a brief overview of the Bible shows some big names that have fallen or been influenced by the fear of man. It was this fear that caused Abraham (the Father of faith!) to twice say that Sarah was his sister before Pharaoh and King Abimelech. It caused Aaron to bow to the people's opinions and make a golden calf. It caused 2/3 of Gideon's army to leave as well as forcing Elijah to run and hide in a cave from Jezebel. The fear of man made Nicodemus come to Jesus by night, Pilate to condemn Jesus, and caused even Peter to not eat with Gentiles when Jews were around.
 ↩ Well, there was King David who gives us a good insight into how it feels in Psalm 31. Stephen the first martyr was convicted because of a false report (Acts 6:8-15), Paul and the other Apostles were all slandered in this way (Acts 16:20-21, 17:7), and of course, the Lord Jesus was tried and crucified on the evidence of false reports. Not to mention his earlier ministry when he was called Beelzebub. We read concerning his trial "Now the chief priests and the whole council kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus to put him to death... For many were giving false testimony about him, but they were not consistent...." And I guess we cannot forget Faithful. Who? You know, good old Faithful, who had to stand before Judge Hate-good in Vanity Fair. Three witnesses, Envy, Superstition, and Pickthank all lied on oath saying that "this man, regardless of his name, is one of the vilest men in our country. He does not respect prince or people, law or custom..." (Sound familiar???) "...Then the jury, whose names were Mr Blind-man, Mr No-good, Mr Malice, Mr Love-lust, Mr Live-loose, Mr Heady, Mr High-mind, Mr Enmity, Mr Liar, Mr Cruelty, Mr Hate-light and Mr Implacable went out to deliberate... and they unanimously found him guilty."