Carry Your Weapon!

Posted on January 27, 2022


By David Ettinger

Discouraged Builders
The Israelites had been back in the land for almost 90 years.

Their captivity in Babylon ended in 535 B.C., and it was now 445 B.C. But the city of Jerusalem was in disrepair as “the wall … is broken down and its gates have been burned with fire” (Nehemiah 1:3).

So dire was the situation that Nehemiah – cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, ruler of the Persian Empire – requested permission to leave the king’s service to oversee the rebuilding of the wall.

That granted, Nehemiah made the 850-mile trek to the holy city to oversee the restoration.

However, the surrounding non-Jewish population was not happy about it (Nehemiah 4:1, 7). As such, “all of them conspired together to come to fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it” (v. 8).

The opposition’s efforts worked: “The strength of the burden bearers is failing, yet there is much rubble; and we ourselves are unable to rebuild the wall” (v. 10).

Drawing Strength
Fortunately for the downcast Israelites, Nehemiah knew exactly what to say:

When I saw their fear, I stood and said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people: “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” (Nehemiah 4:14).

Their discouragement overcome, the Israelites went back to work. They trusted in God, but also had a plan:

And from that day on, half of my [Nehemiah’s] servants carried on the work
while half of them kept hold of the spears, the shields, the bows,
and the coats of mail; and the captains were behind all the house of Judah.
Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens
carried with one hand doing the work, and the other keeping hold
of a weapon. As for the builders, each wore his
sword strapped to his waist as he built (4:16-18).

The builders of Jerusalem’s walls were equipped in two ways. First, they had faith in God and were strengthened by Him. Second, they carried their weapons of warfare should their enemies launch an attack against them.

Christian Warfare
What about you, dear Christian? Are you equipping yourself for warfare?

The warfare I speak of is spiritual as, “Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Just as Israel’s hostile neighbors planned to stop the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls, so Satan looks to destroy the foundations of the Christian’s relationship with God.

He is gunning for you!

But just like the ancient Israelites, God is fighting for you. Don’t forget, though Satan is out to get you, “greater is He [the Holy Spirit] who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

But sometimes that’s not enough. What I mean by this is that Christians must participate in the fight. We engage in spiritual warfare with God’s enablement, but we also carry our own weapons and fight back.

The weapons of Christian warfare is the “armor of God,” demonstrated in Ephesians 6:10-17, among which is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (v. 17).

You can obsess over politics and current events all you want, but this will not help you battle the treacherous satanic forces striving to destroy your faith. You can take solace that you are a true child of the sovereign God, but this alone will not fully equip you to withstand Satan’s wiles.

Wield Your Sword!
What will equip you to fight the spiritual battle is the Word of God. The Word of God includes 2 things: the actual Bible, and the preaching of God’s truth. And make no mistake about it, where the shield is a defensive weapon, the sword is an offensive one. It is designed to attack.

Rightly understood and proclaimed, the Word of God can defeat evil, destroy satanic “fortresses” (2 Corinthians 10:4), and transport people from eternal death to eternal life (John 5:24).

Just as the ancient Israelites engaged in the battle – their weapons of warfare at their sides – so must Christians engage the enemy with spiritual weapons, foremost the Word of God.

So, Christian, if you want to keep up with what’s going on in the world, do so, but don’t devote long hours to it. Open God’s word daily. Spend as much time as you can in it. Read it. Study it. Understand it. Absorb it. Let it increase your strength and build your faith.

Carry your weapon, Christian, and as the darkness intensifies, you will be able to stand firm and secure, a beacon of light for those perishing all around you!