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As the work proceeded, the opposition of outsiders turned from derision to anger, but rose no higher at the moment than contempt. However, Nehemiah was conscious of the menace of this attitude, and lifted his heart in prayer to God. An illuminative sentence, "The people had a mind to work," shows how completely Nehemiah had captured and inspired them, and we are therefore not surprised when we read that the wall was half finished.
At this point, however, opposition became very wroth, and organized a conspiracy to hinder the work. Immediately, and with a keen sense of the necessity, Nehemiah says, "We made our prayer, and set a watch." In his method there was neither foolish independence of God nor foolhardy neglect of human responsibility. Everything was done to procure that twofold attitude of simple faith in God and determined dependence on personal endeavor which always makes for victory. How often God's workers fail for lack of one or other of these important elements.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Nehemiah 4". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20