We prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat. Nehemiah 4:9
When Wallace and Mary Brown moved to an impoverished part of Birmingham, England, to pastor a dying church, they didn’t know that a gang had made the grounds of their church and home its headquarters. The Browns had bricks thrown through their windows, their fences set on fire, and their children threatened. The abuse continued for months; the police were unable to stop it.
The book of Nehemiah recounts how the Israelites rebuilt Jerusalem’s broken walls. When locals set out to “stir up trouble,” threatening them with violence (Nehemiah 4:8), the Israelites “prayed to . . . God and posted a guard” (v. 9). Feeling God used this passage to direct them, the Browns, their children, and a few others walked around their church’s walls, praying that He would install angels as guards to protect them. The gang jeered, but the next day, only half of them showed up. The day after that, only five were there, and the day after, no one came. The Browns later heard the gang had given up terrorizing people.
This miraculous answer to prayer isn’t a formula for our own protection, but it’s a reminder that opposition to God’s work will come and must be fought with the weapon of prayer. “Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome,” Nehemiah told the Israelites (v. 14). He can even set violent hearts free.
What would you have done in the Browns’ situation? Who needs your prayers for deliverance today?
Awesome God, protect Your people by Your powerful angels, and set the hearts of Your enemies free.
Nehemiah, the son of Hakaliah, served the important post of cupbearer for King Artaxerxes. When Nehemiah heard the discouraging news from his brother Hanani that the wall of Jerusalem was broken down, he wept. Moreover, his people, the Jewish exiles who’d returned to Judah from Babylon, were in trouble (Nehemiah 1). The king noticed Nehemiah’s sadness, inquired about it (2:1-2), and granted his servant Nehemiah leave of absence to help rebuild Jerusalem. Nehemiah united the returning exiles to rebuild the walls despite heavy opposition from opponents in nearby Samaria, Amnon, and Arabia. While some of the men worked to rebuild the walls, others stood guard (4:1-9, 15). The wall was completed in fifty-two days (6:15). Later, Nehemiah helped Ezra the priest and teacher to restore the morals of the people by obeying the law of the Lord (8:9-10). Nehemiah served as governor of Judah for twelve years.