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The Enemy Within (5 of 13)
Series: Book Of Nehemiah
INTRO: Nehemiah and the people were half way to their goal, the outside enemies were already fading as a threat, they had successfully fought off the outside enemies and their attempts to destroy the goal God had given them to build.
But, now without the threat of outside sources a new and potentially worse enemy was rising to threaten them ... this enemy really could destroy the work of God in their midst: Who Was this great enemy?
The new enemy was TIREDNESS and SELFISHNESS ... INSIDE THE CAMP!
While outside enemies tend to cause the saints of God to rally together against a mutual threat these inside enemies tend to do just the opposite; they tend to divide the people of God and turn brother against brother!
ILLUS: Jay E. Adams writes that under the roof in his back yard hangs a hummingbird feeder that he keeps filled with sugar water. There are four openings in it from which birds may suck the nectar. Yet, day after day, from early morning until after dusk, the feeder is the source of their own private version of star wars. One bird chases all the others away.
"As I said," Adams writes, "there is room for four birds at a time, and fully that number attempt to feed. But the top dog (excuse my use of this metaphor for a hummingbird!), who now 'owns' the feeder, will not let them. All day long he sits on the branch of a nearby apricot tree guarding 'his' feeder and defying others to transgress on what he has established as 'his' territory.
"This ongoing slice of life confronts us throughout the day as green and red Annas hummers streak across the yard, the king hummer in hot pursuit of an intruder. While the chase is on, others sneak a sip or two, only to be driven off when he returns.
"The whole business has become a sort of parable for our family. Here is an example of grace: I bought the feeder; I supply the sugar water. The birds do not earn it; t ...
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