Nehemiah: Keep Your Powder Dry

Nehemiah 4

In a poem called “Cromwell’s Advice,” poet William Blackner attempted to put into verse a phrase that Oliver Cromwell was alleged to have said to his English troops as prepared to cross a river as part of their invasion of Ireland. The last line of each stanza reads something like this: “Trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry.” The sentiment is a simple one: even as Cromwell wanted his men to trust in the Lord for victory, he also wanted them to be vigilant and take responsibility for their own actions as part of the battle. As we work our way through the fourth chapter of Nehemiah (v. 1-23), we’re going to see opposition reach a fever pitch against Nehemiah and all those who were seeking to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. And we’ll see how Nehemiah led his people to press on in their work, refusing to let opposition side track or scare them into inactivity. I hope you can join us as we learn together, through this ancient story, about how to face spiritual opposition in our own lives today–seeking to trust the Lord for victory, while still “keeping our powder dry” and being shrewd in the spiritual battles we face.