Nehemiah and his people did not get discouraged over the mockery of the enemies. They went on building the wall in the face of the jeering and the humiliation. But that wasn’t the end of their troubles.
Sometimes we look at hardships, and battles as something to be won once, with a “happy ever after” ending. Usually, however, triumph, victory is not final. It must always be defended.
When Sanballat and his allies realized that their demeaning words were not enough to stop the work, they got angry, and conspired to come and fight against Jerusalem to cause a disturbance. Often winning one battle graduates us to a new level of war. In this case, the enemy decided to go for direct confrontation.
What did Nehemiah and the other workers do? They prayed and armed themselves. Nehemiah stationed men in strategic places to provide defense. Each builder was equipped with a sword for the time of attack. He also encouraged the people by pointing to their ultimate source of strength- the Lord. The enemy did not start battle as they planned. Maybe knowing how well Nehemiah and his people were prepared helped defer their plan. Ultimately, however, the glory for a battle won without a fight goes to God.
Our fight, Paul writes later, is not against flesh and blood, but spiritual forces of wickedness. “Therefore take up the complete armor of God, so that you may be to withstand in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm” Paul then lists the armor and weapons necessary to be prepared for battle: Truth, righteousness, preparation of the gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and finally the sword of the Spirit, which is the work of God.
Are you armed? Is your sword within reach? An enemy likes best to strike the unprepared.
Read story at Nehemiah chapter 4. Read about armor of God in Ephesians chapter 6, start at verse 10.
“Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Epesians 6:14-17