16“So it was, from that time on, that half of my servants worked at construction, while the other half held the spears, the shields, the bows and wore armor; and the leaders were behind all the house of Judah.” 17Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that one hand they worked with construction, and with the other held a weapon.”
As I read through verses 16 & 17, scripture here shows us a great spiritual warfare that is taking place among the workers! When reading chapter 4, one could look at this as just a mere story that happened around 464-423 B.C. When Nehemiah was tasked to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, he and his people came across immediate physical and mental warfare.
It was so great that literally half the servants were working at constructing of the wall, while the other half held spears, shields, and bows for protection! As one who works in Africa part time, I am well aware of this type of warfare. If it were not for the believers praying and financially supporting this ministry, work could never be accomplished in Africa. It should encourage those that can never go to Africa, or other parts of the world, that their support and prayers are as important as being actually serving there.
In these two chapters we see there are the servants, the leaders, those who carried burdens and those who protected those that were building the wall. We can never trivialize where God has called us in serving Him. We are ALL part of the great commission, and no matter if we are leaders or servant, God is working through all of us for His glory!