based on the Love God Greatly Study, From Broken to Restored / w2d2
Scripture: Nehemiah 4:6-14 / SOAP: Nehemiah 4:14
God’s people were having success in the rebuilding project and their enemies were angry and sought to come against them. The enemy’s plans and words caused fear and panic and stole their enthusiasm. Still, Nehemiah was not stopped – instead He continued to lead and encourage the people.
When I had made an inspection, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the great and awesome Lord, and fight on behalf of your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your families!”Nehemiah 4:14
To understand and appreciate today’s verse and larger passage, we must remind ourselves of what’s been happening and who/what God’s people are dealing with in the rebuilding of the wall. One of my favorite Bible commentaries summarizes it like this –
Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem were three enemies of the Jews who made several attempts to stop Nehemiah from rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Sanballat and Tobiah are first mentioned in Nehemiah 2:10 as upset about Nehemiah’s work: “When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about this, they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites.” In verse 19, they, along with Geshem the Arab, mock Nehemiah, saying, “What is this you are doing? . . . Are you rebelling against the king?” When the construction was taking place, their anger grew: “When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews” (Nehemiah 4:1; cf. verse 7).gotquestions.org
When the Enemy is Angry
The enemy pursued their quest of stopping the rebuilding of the all, and what did Nehemiah do? He prayed. Remember our earlier reading from Nehemiah 4, where we read of Sanballat’s anger in hearing that they were rebuilding the wall – Nehemiah didn’t let that deter him instead the threat of the battle pushed him to pray
“Hear, O our God, for we are despised. Return their reproach on their own head. Reduce them to plunder in a land of exile! 5 Do not cover their iniquity, and do not wipe out their sin from your sight, for they have bitterly offended the builders.” (4:4-5)
6 So we rebuilt the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height. The people were enthusiastic in their work.
And Then …
Enthusiastic work in rebuilding the wall led to more anger and again this led to more praying and actually standing ready to defend their position – but not without encouragement from Nehemiah:
Going Further / Making it personal
“Whatever we face, whatever battle we find ourselves in, we can take Nehemiah’s exhortation to heart: Don’t be afraid. Remember the great and awesome Lord, and fight on behalf of your families. We do not need to fear, because the great and awesome God we serve is always, always fighting on our behalf. We can fight the enemy, the powers of darkness, and the rulers of the world because of His power. May we be warriors who pray, both trusting God to fight on our behalf and willing to stand up and fight when He calls us to do so.LGG Devotional Journal / From Broken to Restored / w2d2