The Sword and The Trowel – Facing Opposition

The Sword and The Trowel – Facing Opposition


Bible Passage: Nehemiah 4:10-18

Preacher: Kate Hewitt

Series: Rebuild

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The Sword and The Trowel – Facing Opposition

Nehemiah 4:10-18

It’s a given. If we decide to follow Jesus we will face opposition. Especially when we start to rebuild areas of our lives with broken down walls. Nehemiah knew this only too well. They were half way through rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem when they started to face opposition.

Their enemies sought to disrupt their plans by ridiculing and insulting Nehemiah & the other workers (Nehemiah 4:1-3) When these plans failed their enemies stepped up their campaign of hatred and threatened to kill all who helped in the rebuild. But Nehemiah knew what God had called him to do. He prayed and had a plan.

We see in Nehemiah 4:10-12 that they faced from three sources…

Within – “Meanwhile, the people in Judah said “The strength of the labourers is giving out and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall” – Nehemiah 4:10

We can be our own worst enemy and through negative thoughts we can oppose ourselves.

Without – “Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work” – Nehemiah 4:11

We know we have an enemy, his name is Satan and he seeks to “Kill, steal and destroy” – John 10:10

Around – “Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over “Wherever you turn they will attack us” – Nehemiah 4:12

Unfortunately when we let our fear and negativity seep out it discourages those around us.

But there is good news because they learnt to keep rebuilding with one hand and hold a weapon in the other (Nehemiah 4:17-18) and that is what God has equipped and called us to do. Because Jesus died and rose again, we have resurrection life (Romans 6:10-11) so we can overcome opposition. We can keep rebuilding and fight on. He has given us a sword, the word of God (Colossians 3:23)  to wield against the enemy. Even if we don’t win this battle, we will win the war because Jesus overcame.

So the next time you face opposition, remember God has equipped you for this battle, you just need to pick up your trowel and your sword.


  1. What opposition are you facing at the moment? Within, without or around?
  2. What practical steps can you take to continue to rebuild in that area?
  3. Can you think of a time when you overcame opposition?


On Sunday we sang a few songs as part of our service. Here is a list of songs for you to have a listen to them during the week.

Who You Say I Am

by Hillsong Worship

Another In The Fire

by Hillsong UNITED

What A Beautiful Name

by Hillsong Worship

Do It Again

by Elevation Worship

Series Links

Here are some other messages from the same series: "Rebuild"