Here is another installment of... the book of Nehemiah. Here is the link to this passage: Nehemiah 4-6.
The Jews' enemies insult them. Nehemiah asks that God remember their insults. They continue rebuilding. News of their enemies plotting an attack reaches the Jews. This is discouraging, as well, as their fellow Jews telling them to stop building. They begin to carry weapons with them as they build. Nehemiah encourages them. The poor people begin to complain about their taxes and interest . Nehemiah rebukes the richer people for taking interest from and selling the poor as slaves. They listen and do what he tells them. Nehemiah explains that he became governor, and that the former leaders took advantage of the people. He does not. There are letters from their enemies distracting from the wall building. A man tries to get Nehemiah to hide from the enemies and ruin his reputation. The wall is completed, and there are people in Judah telling Nehemiah of Tobiah's (the enemy) good deeds and reporting back to Tobiah what his replies were.
What I learned:
-When the enemies were plotting against the Jews, and the other Jews were discouraging them, it reminded me of a situation where perhaps God calls you to do something that sounds crazy, and your family and friends start to discourage you. If this happened, you would need to keep working diligently. This happened in Bruce Olson's life (Bruchko).
-The situation of the poor sounds like our own economic situation in the US. The only way to get out of it is to follow God's way.
-When Nehemiah refused to hide, he proved that he trusted God in even dangerous situations. May God grant us this sort of trust!
Grace be with you,