Nehemiah had enemies. People doing the work of God always do. (They are usually people being used by those principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places that Ephesians 6:12 tells us that we wrestle against.)
How grievous it must have been for Nehemiah to constantly listen to the chatter of those around him declaring the virtues of Tobiah and his family. These same people in turn reported every word uttered by Nehemiah to Tobiah. With friends like this, who needed enemies?
Does God issue any commands?
- God did not speak.
Does God make any promises?
- God did not make any promises, but the fact that the work was done in only 52 days substantiates Nehemiah's claim in verse 16 that "this work was wrought of our God."
Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
- I find it interesting that the tactics the enemies used on Nehemiah are similar to the tactics Satan used with Jesus. First there is a meeting. Nehemiah refused the invitation to meet. On the other hand, Jesus met Satan one-on-one and faced temptation. Nehemiah knew that they meant to do him mischief and that he probably could not win against them at least physically which would put his own life in jeopardy. Jesus faced Satan because He knew He would win and His life was not in jeopardy at that time. The next salvo was the "discredit" phase. Nehemiah's enemies produced false witnesses to slander him and make him appear as an opportunist. Satan stirred up false witnesses against Jesus all through His earthly ministry designed to make Jesus appear as either a lunatic or a liar with a god-complex! The following attack was in the form of entrapment. A false prophet hired by the enemy tried to place Nehemiah in a position where attackers could assassinate him. Several times the people were stirred up by false prophets (usually the religious leaders) to attempt to kill Jesus, once by pushing Him off of a cliff. Since it was not Jesus' time to die He passed through the crowd and went His way unharmed.
Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
- Not that I noticed, except to say that when God is in the work it gets done in God's timing. We're still waiting for that city not made with hands and it may seem like a long time to us but God has a timetable and He is keeping track of it. And when the time has come for it to be revealed to us "time shall be no more."