Nehemiah traveled to the city of Jerusalem. He had been there for three days when he got up in the night, took a few men with him, and rode out to inspect the walls of Jerusalem that had been destroyed by the fire. He didn’t tell anyone what God had put into his heart to do for Jerusalem.
Then I said to them, ‘You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burnt. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no longer suffer disgrace.’ I told them that the hand of my God had been gracious upon me, and also the words that the king had spoken to me. Then they said, ‘Let us start building!’ So they committed themselves to the common good. But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they mocked and ridiculed us, saying, ‘What is this that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?’ Then I replied to them, ‘The God of heaven is the one who will give us success, and we his servants are going to start building; but you have no share or claim or historic right in Jerusalem.’ (Nehemiah 2:17)
Nehemiah finally shares his purpose and he is met with mockery and ridicule. “What is this that you are doing?” “Are you rebelling against the king?”. Can you relate? Think of a time in your life that you felt empowered to do something and once you put pen to paper, or gave voice to your plan, you were met with a “Satan-shield”, a block, a barrier of ridicule, meant to knock you right off of your footing and thwart your efforts. “Satan shields” pop up all the time, they are the voices of the mockers, meant to feed our insecurity, call into question our plans, and stop us in our tracks. Don’t negotiate with evil, and don’t be stymied by the “satan shield”. God can walk all over that chaos.
Nehemiah stands up to the ridicule and he shows us exactly how to face those “Satan shields”. Nehemiah claims his project, his plan, his provision, and his success for God. He defines his role (as a servant), his plan (rebuilding the city), and the outcome (the mockers will have no share in Jerusalem).
When you face a “Satan shield” state your role (servant of God), your purpose, and claim your success for God and then command Satan to get behind you, you are about the business of God! God has a purpose and a plan, He hears your prayers, and He will fight for you.
Tomorrow Nehemiah assembles his team and executes the plan and the rebuilding begins.