The work has begun on the wall, despite the opposition of the enemy. Remember that the wall here represents the wall of protection around the marriage. Nehemiah has been diligently working on rebuilding, and has successfully knocked down the first and second attack that the enemy tried to heap on him. The attack on his mind. Now, Nehemiah is actually beginning to show progress towards rebuilding, but that does not mean that the enemy is done with him.
But when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and in a great rage, and he ridiculed the Jews. Nehemiah 4:1
Now he’s gone and done it. Just when Nehemiah is feeling some peace in the fact that he is seeing progress, the enemy gets riled up anew. He was in a ‘great rage’ over the wall. This always happens; this is what creates the ‘roller coaster’ effect that we often complain about in our marriage. We begin to get ahead, we start progress, and we are feeling good about it, and BAM! The enemy gets ticked off and has to jump right in to attack on a different level.
Trying to question the authority Nehemiah had didn’t work (because he had come on the king’s authority), and mocking his sanity really only proved to Nehemiah that his enemies were jealous of what he was able to do. This time, they decided that small doses wouldn’t do. In verses 1-3, the enemies gathered around and tried again to mock Nehemiah’s plan. Only this time, they dragged in more people. The men mocked Nehemiah to their entire army, and gossiped about the ultimate failure that they believed this plan would become. These are word curses. Here Nehemiah is, minding his own business, and doing the Lord’s work, and these men decide to speak curses and mock every element of the plan to hundreds of people.
Nehemiah discovers that the enemy is speaking negatively over his plan, and immediately goes to prayer again (vs. 4-5). His prayers are not very merciful. He actually prays that the words of his enemies would be turned against them, and he asks that God would notice that they were not only in opposition of him, but also of God Himself. He knows that this undertaking is part of God’s plan (as is your marriage).
We have to be careful who knows of our plans, because not everyone will support us. Every word spoken against your marriage reconciliation is a rubber bullet shot at your newly rebuilt wall. It might not hurt it once or twice, but if that person shares the gossip of your situation, soon it will be full blown war. Take care to protect yourself from the army of words spoken against your marriage. First, defend your marriage by keeping your struggle to a select few; and second, protect your wall with frequent prayer of protection. Don’t give in over the roller coaster, but trust in God to protect what you are investing in.
Lord, I pray that you would protect the wall that I am building around my marriage. I pray that you will return the word curses and negativity back to where they came from (the devil). Bless my marriage, and bless the work that I am doing. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Read Nehemiah 4:1-5
Do you recognize the roller coaster feelings?
Pray that God will protect the progress that you are making on the wall.