Nehemiah 2:10 – But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel.
When God acts, Satan reacts. For the first time in the story, a unified opposition rises up against Nehemiah as his critics are the first to “greet” him in Jerusalem. Political leaders from surrounding areas joined together to attack Nehemiah and his mission to rebuild the city and church. Even humble leaders who are acting in obedience to God will always face critics and opponents, as was also the case with Jesus.
The long journey to Jerusalem would have taken a few months (e.g. Ezra 7:8-9). Upon arriving, Nehemiah curiously does not immediately launch into his work, but rather takes three days to presumably pray and Sabbath. He was wisely gathering up his energy for a long and exhausting season of work and opposition.
Nehemiah began his work under the cover of darkness to discreetly investigate firsthand the condition of the walls. Leaders make decisions based upon information, and without accurate information, a leader makes a poor decision. So, Nehemiah travels to Jerusalem and inspects the entire wall himself. The various broken gates were essentially the doorways to the city, and without a rebuilt wall and gates, God’s people could not return to the city and worship as the church.
How is Nehemiah 2 an illustration of the principle in Proverbs 21:1?