The incredible work of Nehemiah and the remnant of Israel in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem has been playing over in my head the last couple of weeks. This is just such an amazing moment in history! What these people accomplished is hard to believe, especially when you consider the circumstances they faced and the conditions of their environment.
Once the rebuilding of the wall commenced, the enemy (in this case Sanballat) began to resist the work. Three times we read, “when Sanballat heard [that I had builded the wall].” And every time that Sanballat saw the work grow closer to completion, he stepped up his attack.
The first thing Sanballat did was mock Nehemiah.
“Look at these crazy people! Do they really think that they are going to revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?” “Even if a little fox tried to walk on that wall, it would fall apart!” (paraphrase)
When mocking didn’t work, Sanballat threatened Nehemiah.
“And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.”
When mocking and threatening didn’t work Sanballat goes to his last weapon; he will attempt to get Nehemiah to compromise.
Sanballat sends word for Nehemiah to come and meet him in a village in the plain of Ono. Look it up, ‘Ono’ means compromise. The enemy knows that if making fun of you, threatening you, and fighting you won’t work, he still has a chance if he can get you to compromise.
I love Nehemiah’s response.
“I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down”