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Building walls and facing enemies

Nehemiah and opposition to rebuilding Jerusalem's walls.
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Nehemiah had made a plan for the rebuilding of the walls. Altogether there were 42 groups of workers - some were temple priests, others were goldsmiths, or perfume makers, or merchants or servants. <br/>People worked in groups on the sections of the wall nearest their homes and those from outside the city worked on the remaining sections. Everyone was involved and Nehemiah encouraged them. He mentions, for example, a man called Baruch who worked very hard (Nehemiah 3:20) and the people of Tekoa who mended two sections of the wall even though their leaders didn't want them to do any work (Nehemiah 3:5,27). – Slide 1
The progress on the walls angered those opposing the project. Sanballot ridi-culed the Jews in front of his friends and the army of Samaria saying, 'What are those feeble Jews doing? Do they think they can rebuild their wall? Will they be able to offer sacrifices? Can they finish this wall in a day? Can they use the burned stones back again? Tobiah, the governor of Ammon mocked the pro-ject, ‘If fox climbed up on their wall it would break it down!” <br/>Nehemiah responded by praying, 'Hear us, our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on them. Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have insulted the builders. As a result, the builders worked with all their hearts and the wall reached half its height. The surrounding wall was around 2.5 miles (4km long). – Slide 2
This progress provoked their enemies into planning an attack. Sanballot and the Samaritans from the north, Tobiah and the Ammonites to the east, Geshem and the Arabs from the south and the Ashdodites from the west posed a big threat. The workers prayed to God for help and posted a guard day and night. <br/>But by now the workers were getting discouraged. They were exhausted and the work was getting harder. Some came to Nehemiah wanting to give up. Ten times there were rumours that a surprise attack was on its way. – Slide 3
Nehemiah knew he must do something, so he posted armed guards be-hind the weakest places in the wall. 'Don’t be afraid of them,' Nehemiah urged. ''Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes. The plan worked and news got back to their enemies that the workers were ready to deal with a sudden attack. – Slide 4
From that day on Nehemiah divided the people into two groups, one worked on the wall while the other stood guard carrying weapons. Nehemiah had a trumpeter near him at all times ready to sound the battle alarm. He encouraged the builders by saying, 'Our God will fight for us.' The work continued from early in the morning until late into the evening. – Slide 5
Slide 6