2 that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together among the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they thought to do me harm. 3 So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:2–3, NKJV)
Just weeks before, the wall of Jerusalem were rubble. Now, under the leadership of Nehemiah, the people “had a mind to work” (Nehemiah 4:6). In less than two months, the wall would be finished (Nehemiah 6:15). Sanballat and Geshem were enemies of the Jews (Nehemiah 6:1). Their proposed talks with Nehemiah were nothing more than an effort to delay and defeat the rebuilding of the wall. Nehemiah rejected their call for compromise. He had work to do, and he refused to indulge their attempt to slow the progress being made. Do not be lured by the siren calls of religious and moral compromise. “Friendship with the world is enmity with God” (James 4:4). Compromise with doctrinal error and immorality is sin, and it harms the gospel cause of Jesus Christ (Ephesian 5:11; 2 Corinthians 6:16-18). Do not hinder the Lord’s work by going to the “plain of Ono,” where compromise with the enemies of righteousness breeds spiritual delay and defeat.