Things were going great for Nehemiah; he had told the king about how Jerusalem was in ruins, had prayed and made his request, and the king granted him all that he wanted. Then Nehemiah headed towards the holy city, accompanied by the officers and the horsemen the king had given him. Happy ending? Not just yet.
Verse 10 says “When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite heard about it, it was very displeasing to them that someone had come to seek the welfare of the sons of Israel.” There are always enemies. There is always someone who is not happy with what God is doing in the world. Just as in literature, a plot must have tension and then resolution, so in real life — especially the Christian life — there is always an enemy with which we will be tested, and whom we must overcome.
Many of us need to remember this. This present life is not the place where we get to “cruise”; it is not the place of rest from enemies. That place is in heaven, not here. On earth we are always at war, against “the world, the flesh, and the devil.” Don’t think you can run away from it: there will always be a “Sanballat” and a “Tobiah”, wherever you are!