And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work (Nehemiah 2:18).
It has been said that when the people of God say, Let us arise and build Satan says, Let us arise and oppose. The work of the Lord never advances without Satanic opposition.
Satan opposed Nehemiah externally. Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem did everything they could to stop the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem. They tried ridicule: They laughed us to scorn, and despised us (2:19); anger: Sanballat . . . was wroth, and took great indignation (4:1); criticism: What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? (4:2); mockery: Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall (4:3); threat of all-out war: And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem (4:8); compromise: Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono (6:2); and lying: It is reported among the heathen, . . . that thou and the Jews think to rebel: . . . that thou mayest be their king (6:6). Nehemiah succumbed to none of these attacks.
Satan opposed Nehemiah internally, through discouragement: The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish (4:10); wanting to quit: We are not able to build the wall (4:10); greed: There was a great cry of the people . . . against their brethren the Jews. . . . We have mortgaged our lands . . . we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants (5:1,3,5); and cowardice: Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple . . . for they will come to slay thee (6:10).
In spite of it all, the work was completed (6:15) and the enemies of God were defeated (6:16). May we never give up, but continue in our work to its completion! NPS