Nehemiah 6:1-4 says, “Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;) That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief. And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.”
I love Nehemiah’s answers. He still had work to do and he would not come down. Even though the walls of physical protection around Jerusalem were completed, the gates needed to be completely finished. Nothing would stop him or the work. Nehemiah wanted to make sure there was not one weakness in Jerusalem’s protection.
Then Nehemiah 13:15-21 goes on to say, “In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.”
We then learn that the rebuilt walls and gates were not just for physical protection. They were also for spiritual protection. How many a good Christian allowed sins they once had victory over, camp out at their gates? These sins were waiting for the first chance to sneak back in. But let’s learn a great lesson from Nehemiah. Even though you have victory over a sin, you cannot allow it to camp out at your gates. You must take action as Nehemiah did. If not you will find yourself worshipping the Lord on Sundays then going to bars for Monday night football. Or even studying the Bible in the morning, then viewing pornography late at night when the family is asleep. I pray to the Lord that this will not be the case with any of us. How do we get rid of the sins that camp out at our gates? We must learn to hate the sins the same way our Lord does!