Man with a mission. Nehemiah is so readable. He dares to bring his vision if rebuilding Jerusalem before the king, obviously the boldest thing he has done in his life. And he’s off to Jerusalem with authority to collect wood etc to rebuild the walls. The seeds of opposition are there too, as 2 officials appear to have reason for him to fail.
Even though he has the King’s support for his mission, he is wary of what is clearly a politically charged situation. He inspects the state of the walls by night and doesn’t tell the local officials why he has come.
The officials who initially were troubled by his plan turn to derision, along with a threat to portray the plan as rebellion to the king.
He answers their jibes and threats by placing his duty to God highest, and exposing greedy motives for their negativity: they want to claim it, and he is asserting the historic right of the Jews to Jerusalem.
So in N. we have a inspiring model for believers. Willing to give it all when the spiritual need arises. Prayer, action. A holy mission, that heightens not dulls his practicality and nouse.
From God’s point of view, he wanted Jerusalem smashed and now he wants it rebuilt. We know from the sweep of history that the promised land, the temple, the walls of Jerusalem will all become metaphors for a vastly different understanding of how god interacts with man, as a direct presence in our hearts. But for now he wants them all to be concrete again.