Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night. – Nehemiah 4v7-9
Few places in the scriptures do more to just purely inspire me than this section of Nehemiah. Still trying to decide who should play Nehemiah in my film. He was quite a guy. The bad guys were doing all they could to stop them. Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls were being rebuilt they got angry. Nehemiah and his men were filling in the gaps. The Alliance of Evil conspired to come and mess up the work.
So now it is time to be daunted and stop working, right? I mean, after all, what hope was there against all of these enemies. Surely they got discouraged (we will see that tomorrow), but look at their first response. ‘Nevertheless, we made our prayer to God and set up a watch against them!’
They prayed. That was a great idea; the best idea in fact. But they did not stop there – they also set up a watch.
Watch and pray. What a great combination! When we get out of balance we can think it is good enough to do just one or the other. When we try to live for the Lord and try to build spiritual walls of protection in our lives the Enemy is not going to like it. Satan is going to get angry. He is going to muster his forces to come up and try to confuse us. What do we do? Quit? Roll over and play dead? Just give up?
How about ‘Watch and pray when you enter temptation, because while your spirit may be willing your fresh is week.’
The next time, probably today, that we face opposition, let’s remember Nehemiah and his wall builders. Let’s make out prayer to God and set up a watch!