"So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days'' (Nehemiah 6:15).
Nehemiah was given permission by the Persian King Artaxerxes to return to Jerusalem in order to rebuild the walls, set up the gates that had been burned with fire, and bring, as his appointed governor (5:14), stability over the land of Judah.
Fortunately, when Nehemiah challenged the people to "build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach" (2:17), there was immediate approval by the people. "Let us rise up and build" (2:18).
But as they began to build, tremendous problems arose. They came from without and they came from within.
Problems from without: the avowed enemies of Nehemiah, (Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem) (2:19), tried every tactic they could think of to stop the work. They mocked and despised the Jews (2:10); they became violently angry (4:1); they criticized the project (4:2-3); they threatened war (4:7-8); they threatened assassination (4:11-12); they tried ecumenical compromise (6:2,4); they tried outright lies (6:6-7); they instigated fear tactics (6:9,19) and they hired false prophets (6:10,14).
Problems from within: working from sunup to sunset brought on fatigue, discouragement, and desire to give up (4:10); Jews took advantage of other Jews who could not pay their debts (5:2,4) greed and hard-heartedness set in (5:5); plus, a betrayal by a trusted friend of Nehemiah's (6:10-13).
Yet in spite of it all, "the wall was finished" (6:15), with great rejoicing among the people.
The lesson for us all: God's work, done for God's glory, will be accomplished by God's power -- Never give up!