Daily Word

Opposition strengthens | Nehemiah 4:6-9 (ESV)

6 At last the wall was completed to half its height around the entire city, for the people had worked with enthusiasm.

7 But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the work was going ahead and that the gaps in the wall of Jerusalem were being repaired, they were furious. 8 They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw us into confusion. 9 But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves.

Nehemiah 4:6-9 (ESV)

Milestone – half the height

Through diligence, leadership, and the hand of God, despite discouragement, they hit the half-way mark. This was quite amazing considering the amount of work, the lack of experience, poor materials, and discouragement of the opposition. The work was not half-hearted, it was done with great enthusiasm. As they worked and trusted the Lord, He blessed the work and protected them.

Passed the first level

This was the first part of the test of their faith. In spite of the circumstances, would they trust and do the work God called them to do? They passed this first test. “God answered the prayer by giving them all a mind to work. A mind to work is a gift from God, and no significant job will ever be accomplished until people come together with a mind to work.” (Enduringword.com)

Opposition strengthens

Sanballat and his gang were furious. That’s a pretty strong emotion, well beyond  being angry. How could they not only continue to work but work so fast!? What were they really angry about? Who were they fighting? Yes, God. They were opposed to God. From Nehemiah 2:8 we already know God’s hand was in this work. Sanballat picked the wrong fight. Did he know it? 


Let’s note that their tactic was to threaten attack yet they did not attack. They were likely restrained by the word of the king. We read they also sought to bring confusion.

In like manner, the enemy of the church gets frustrated and likely furious when we demonstrate faith and God blesses the work. He will also threaten and cause confusion. Thankfully, in like manner, Satan is restrained by the word of the King of Kings.


How do they respond to the next level of test? Same as the first which we saw yesterday. Let’s say it together in unison – “They called on the Lord.” They put their trust in Him and they did the work. Let’s model this response.

Image from Pxfuel.com

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