SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- We first meet Sanballat and Tobiah in chapter 2 as enemies of Nehemiah. Now they are back at it, at first, simply trying to ridicule the builders. As they see progress happening despite their ridicule, they amp up their ideas.
- They decide to attack while the wall is still low. Nehemiah gets wind of the attack from some good neighbors and arms his men with prayer and weapons.
- When Sanballat and Tobiah get word that the Jews rebuilding the wall are now armed and prepared for an outside attack, they stand down and retreat.
- From then on, Nehemiah has half the people building, and half the people defending. But even those who were building did so with a sword strapped to their body. Nehemiah taught them to always be ready to defend.
- Whenever you try and do good things in this world, there will always be people who oppose it. Just like in Nehemiah, sometimes those threats come from outside and sometimes they come from within.
- It isn't just the boy scouts who are always supposed to be prepared. God wants his people prepared to. You never know when you are going to be called to take action and do good.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- One of the ways the bible tells us to be prepared is when people ask us why we have hope in God. In the book of 2 Peter, the author writes that as Christians, we are always to be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope we have in Christ Jesus.
- The bible also tells us if we are truly seeking to follow God, we will meet opposition. Where are you seeing that in your life? If you aren't seeing it, maybe you can evaluate how hard you are trying to serve God.