Nehemiah was fresh off the conflict from within the City, now he had to face the conflict from without. As the last bricks were being laid, the enemies round about Jerusalem began to conspire to create problems. All work must be stopped for the good of the enemy!
They began to call for Nehemiah, to challenge him with his fears. They sent letter after letter and he returned a letter with the same line – ‘I’m busy.’
They threatened to tell the King that Nehemiah would, upon completion of the city, have the prophets proclaim himself king. Untrue of course, but this is not the sort of rumor that you wanted to get around – regardless of what position you held. They wanted to meet, they said, with Nehemiah to clear up any of the confusion. Nehemiah was a bit smarter than that. He denied the claimed and continued working. Sometimes, regardless of what you do, people will talk about you.
Nehemiah went to see a friend – and this friend suggested that they hide in the Temple, with the doors bolted shot, in fear. No real leader runs, and this running would have brought him into conflict with God. He soon realized that his friend was not a prophet, but seeking a profit – he had been bought about the enemies round about. He asked God to remember the evil done against him, and went back to work.
October 2nd, 445, bc, the work was completed. The Wall of Jerusalem had been rebuilt in fifty-two day – and amazing defeat for the enemies round about. He had faced opposition not just from those laying in wait, but from those within the City. Yet, relying upon prayer, he had come through and brought the City with him. For generations, Jerusalem had set humiliated and frightened, the laughingstock of the nations. Now, because of God’s favor, it was the enemies turn to be humiliated.