Suspicion, Neh 2:12-20. Sanballat was probably a Moabite, a native of Horonaim; Tobiah had been a slave. There are many descendants of these two men in all our Christian communities today, hindering God’s work. This heroic soul met their scorn and the depression of the people by unwavering faith and calm confidence in the good hand of God, Neh 2:18. How small do our difficulties seem when brought into the sight of the God of heaven!
Reproach, Neh 4:1-6. Whenever God’s work revives, there is sure to be evil-speaking and reproach. It is a mistake to reply. Let us hand over our cause to God, and go on with His work. It matters very little what men say, as long as He is pleased. Had Nehemiah had the message of Christ he would not have prayed as in Neh 2:5. Our Lord taught us to intercede for our enemies, Mat 5:44. But let us emulate Nehemiah’s zeal for the name of God, and let us remember that increased light means increased responsibility, Mat 11:11.
Active opposition, Neh 2:7-12. In time of hostility, our friends and allies are apt to grow discouraged and to advise the suspension of our work. “We are not able;” but faith looks to God alone and triumphantly holds on its way.