When my husband sold our boat to one of Peter’s friends, we had no idea that seeing this neglected recreational vehicle become loved again would bring us such joy! Peter’s friend includes him on many fishing expeditions as though the history of the boat allows him an automatic invite. Even so, when the people of Jerusalem came back to rebuild the city wall, they found it was neglected. So much so that Nehemiah was moved to tears. He was sent by the king to rebuild it. In the midst of opposition, Nehemiah discerned who were friends vs. foes by these stipulations: do you have a share, a legal right or a historic claim on this property? If not, you may not build with us since the enemy’s motive was only to bring dissent and discord. Lord, thank you for the life of Nehemiah who solidly took a stand amidst a discouraging task and led wisely. May we also plow through the opposition of our day with your wise discernment.-Teresa
Nehemiah 2:11-20 (NLT)
“So I arrived in Jerusalem. Three days later, 12 I slipped out during the night, taking only a few others with me. I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem. We took no pack animals with us except the donkey I was riding. 13 After dark I went out through the Valley Gate, past the Jackal’s Well,[g] and over to the Dung Gate to inspect the broken walls and burned gates. 14 Then I went to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but my donkey couldn’t get through the rubble. 15 So, though it was still dark, I went up the Kidron Valley[h] instead, inspecting the wall before I turned back and entered again at the Valley Gate.
16 The city officials did not know I had been out there or what I was doing, for I had not yet said anything to anyone about my plans. I had not yet spoken to the Jewish leaders—the priests, the nobles, the officials, or anyone else in the administration. 17 But now I said to them, “You know very well what trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire. Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!” 18 Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me, and about my conversation with the king.
They replied at once, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work.
19 But when Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard of our plan, they scoffed contemptuously. “What are you doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” they asked.
20 I replied, “The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall. But you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.”