“Also our enemies said, ‘Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.” (Nehemiah 4:11)
When Nehemiah led a group of Jews back to Jerusalem to rebuild the famous wall, he faced opposition immediately. Sanballat and Tobiah ridiculed the Jews and their efforts to restore the wall. Soon the Arabs, Ammonites and the people of Ashdod formed a conspiracy and planned an attack on Jerusalem before the wall could be completed. The conspirators bragged, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”(Nehemiah 4:11) Nehemiah knew he had to do something. The work of rebuilding was hard enough, but now the workers had to be soldiers as well to ward off any attack.
“From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor… Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked.” (verses 16-18)
Nehemiah and the men of Israel had faith that God would protect them and help them to accomplish the rebuilding of the wall. But they balanced their faith with action. They believed God and armed themselves against their enemies. Faith does not mean we expose our weaknesses to the enemy; it means we trust God and take all necessary, logical precautions at the same time. “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.”(James 2:18)Faith and action; they fit like hand in glove.