ENEMIES WITHIN THE WALL
"For he was a faithful man, and feared God above many" Neh. 7:2
This is a description of the man whom Nehemiah placed in authority over the city of Jerusalem after the WALL WAS COMPLETED. The whole of the arrangements for the safety of the city, as here recorded, were characterized by statesmanlike caution. THROUGH THE ENTIRE COUNTRY ROUND ABOUT THERE WERE ENEMIES, and the position of the partially restored city therefore was one of PERPETUAL PERIL. Nehemiah was conscious of this, and made the most careful provision as to the hour for the opening and closing of the city gates and as to the arrangements for the watchers. No greater mistake can ever be made in connection with work for God in difficult places, than that of lack of caution. Carelessness is never the sign of courage. True bravery prepares for the possibility of attack. The man who had built, sword in hand, to completion, did not imagine that with the swinging of the gates on their hinges, the time for anything like relaxation in watchfulness had come. His choice of the governor was characteristic. He was chosen for two reasons; his fidelity to duty, and his fear of God. If we speak of these as two, they yet are but the two sides of one fact. Faithfulness to duty is the outcome of the fear of God. The fear of God always produces faithfulness. There is no sanction sufficiently strong to produce true loyalty other than that of this holy and loving fear. If a man is UNFAITHFUL IN HIS APPOINTED TASK, while yet declaring his loyalty to God, he lies, and the truth is not in him. The secret of the courage that is cautious, of the caution that is courageous, is always that of a complete fear of God.