First, Sanballat and Tobiah made mockery of the Jews and their work, saying that if a fox climbed the wall, everything would come tumbling down. This did not deter the Jews and they continued to build as helped by God. When they enemies saw this they made further threats, and this time around it was war! They conspired together to fight against Jerusalem and hinder the work.
So, the Jews prayed unto God, and set watchmen day and night in preparation. The work could not progress smoothly as before, but the Jews prepared in every way. They did not neglect the work as Nehemiah set people in places with swords, spears and bows. He also charged the leaders of the people not to be afraid of the threats of the opposition, but to fight for their brothers .
The people then returned to the building work, with half of them doing the work and the other half holding spears, shields and bows. Those building too worked with one hand and with the other held a weapon, all the builders had a sword girded by their side as they build.
They Jews did not make an excuse to stop the work. They prayed to God, prepared for war, and continued to build. Definitely there’s a lot we could learn from this whenever we face opposition with respect to whatever it is that God wants us to perform.
Some verses to remember
8-9: And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it. Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.
18: For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.