Let’s read Nehemiah 4:6-15, “So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work. But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it. Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them. And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease. And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you. Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses. And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.”

The Book of Nehemiah continues the history of the nation of Israel from the Book of Ezra. It was under the leadership of Ezra that the temple in Jerusalem was rebuilt after their captivity in Babylon. It was about 12-13 later that Nehemiah was moved of the Lord to begin rebuilding the walls of the city.

As is always the case, when the work of the Lord is being done, there will be enemies that seek to hinder or stop that work. In the first three verses of Nehemiah, we read of two enemies: Sanballat and Tobiah. When Sanballat heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being built, “he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.” (Verse 1). We read that Tobiah ridiculed the Jews saying, “Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.” (Verse 3). We see in verse 4 that Nehemiah acted properly. He prayed, “Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity.” He committed this problem into the hands of the Lord, even as we should do. 1 Peter 5:7 instructs us by saying, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” This is what Nehemiah did.

Verse 6 says, “So built we the wall…” They would not allow the enemy to prevent them from doing the Lord’s will. When Sanballat and Tobiah realized the work was continuing, they became very angry and gathered others to help them physically stop the Israelites from rebuilding the walls of the city. We read in verse 8 that they “conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.” HOWEVER, the people continued to pray to the Lord and continued to build as we read in verse 9, “Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.” Prayer was made first, then a plan was formulated to set some in position to watch for the enemy day and night.

By the grace of God, the Lord caused His people’s enemies to leave and the walls of the city continued to be built. My dear fellow believer, we need not fear the enemy. When we humbly bow before the Lord, and look to Him for His strength and direction, we will accomplish His will. We are taught in Romans 8:37, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Psalms 27:1 gives us the assurance to drive out all our fears. It says, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (330.4)