"Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked" (Neh. 4:17-18).
Nehemiah has returned from Babylon to rebuild the walls of the city of Jerusalem. First, Nehemiah rode horseback through the city surveying the situation. Then work began. The enemies "all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it" (Neh. 4:8).
Nehemiah had the people work and at the same time be ready for anything. They "did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other." The wall was completed in record time, fifty-two days.
During the American Revolution there was a group of ordinary citizens who had bonded together to form an effective army. Composed of merchants, farmers, bankers, and blacksmiths, this group was known as the "Minutemen." Ready for anything, when they heard of trouble, they would drop their work, grab their muskets and head for battle. There was no rummaging around for their powder horn, wadding, and shot; nor did they need to stop and clean their guns. They were ready in a minute.
We, as Christians, should be God's minutemen, ready for action. Ready for any good work (Titus 3:1); ready for any conflict; ready for the Lord's return (Matt. 24:44). We should be ready in a minute to share our faith with others when the opportunity arises, or to encourage anyone, especially our brother, when needed. Let us never be caught off guard or unprepared!