Wow, all this talk about restoring the wall and rebuilding the Temple makes me tired. One observation I see is that it takes a lot of TEAM WORK!
4:6 At last the wall was completed to half its height around the entire city, for the people had worked with enthusiasm. In the Hebrew it says the people worked with mind/will/heart. I couldn't help but think how we should be building up the wall of protection around ourselves with the same dedication as these Israelites! Enemy attacks will come, will we be a prepared fortress? Will we set ourselves to "repairing the gaps" in this Temple under construction (you and me)?
4:8 But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the work was going ahead and that the gaps in the wall of Jerusalem were being repaired, they were furious. They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw us into confusion. This is just how Pharaoh felt watching the Israelites leave Egypt (which is why he chased them down as they tried to get free), and this is just how Satan feels when he sees you working to repair the gaps. And you can bet he'll taunt you and make plans to come and fight and bring confusion! What is the antidote?
4:9 But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves. Prayer, vigilance, and teamwork!
4:14 Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, "Don't be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!" Have faith!
4:17-18 The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon. All the builders had a sword belted to their side. This sounds awkward. But we can and should always have our "sword" belted to our sides too! (Think: sword of the Spirit).
4:23 During this time, none of us—not I, nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor the guards who were with me-ever took off our clothes. We carried our weapons with us at all times, even when we went for water. Talk about vigilance! That is the strong message here. We can't ever let up because there is a roaring lion seeking to devour.
32:6 Therefore, let all the godly confess their rebellion to you while there is time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. NLT
32:6 Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him. NASB
I thought this was another humorous look at the difference between NLT and other versions. There is a lot of margin there created by human interpretation/slant!
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