Verses 1, 2 – The wall was almost finished and Sanballat and Tobiah were desperate to stop its construction so they made up lies about Nehemiah. They attacked him personally with rumors, deceit, and false reports. Personal attacks hurt, especially when the criticism is unjustified. Sanballat and Tobiah were planning an ambush.
Verses 6, 7 – On the fifth try, they used blackmail to get Nehemiah to stop work. The accused Nehemiah of treason against the king. It had worked once before in Jerusalem (Ezra 4:7-16) by sending an open letter. Sanballat wanted to make sure the public would see it. (during these days, prophets such as Malachi proclaimed the coming of the Messiah, Malachi 3:1-3).
Verse 9 – When opposition and tremendous pressure occurs, we are tempted to beg God to get us out of the situation, but that’s not what Nehemiah did. He prayed for God to strengthen his hands. He stayed steadfast in his responsibility. We are to stand on God’s Word and by faith, He is able, to give us victory!
Verse 10 – Shemaiah tried a religious approach to trap Nehemiah, urging him to flee to the temple to save himself from assassination. People will misuse God’s name to say they know God’s will, but have arterial motives. Be careful to test what they say with God’s Word.
Verse 10-13 – When Nehemiah was attacked personally, he refused to give into fear. He wasn’t going into the temple to flee because he wasn’t a priest (Numbers 18:22). We need courage that comes from God in time of these kind of attacks.
Verses 15, 16 – In spite of these attacks, the wall was finished in 52 days. Daniel, who predicted the rebuilding of the city in Daniel 9:25, here the prophecy comes true. We shouldn’t let the size of the task or amount of time to do it stop us from doing God’s work. When we come together with God, it can be done.
Verse 17 – The nobles tried to convince Nehemiah of Tobiah’s good deeds, but the letters that were sent showed otherwise!