Nehemiah refused to let problems conquer him. Intensely desiring to please the Lord, Nehemiah took sin “by the throat” wherever he found it. But nowhere is his indomitable spirit more obvious than in his response to the four serious problems recorded in Nehemiah 13. From his example, we will draw several timely, applicable principles for our own realms of leadership.
Following the completion of their immense task, the Jews responded with joy—intense happiness. Instruments of music blended with the celebration scene as the triumphant tone of rejoicing was heard from afar (Nehemiah 12:43). In this uplifting message, we’ll attempt to recreate that happy scene in our minds and glean from it several practical lessons about joy and celebration of God’s mighty works.
Nehemiah 11 recognizes the “willing unknowns,” a special group of people who served a vital function in Jerusalem but never saw their names in lights. We will consider also our own sacrificial service and learn to appreciate those who work behind-the-scenes in our homes, workplaces, and realms of leadership.
In Nehemiah’s day, when the people of Jerusalem prayed, they meant business! They did not offer mere words—they signed their names to a sealed document (Nehemiah 9:38). The document contained an agreement that was prepared and established before God. In it they promised to pattern their lives according to His truth, to put first things first.
After God’s people had heard and obeyed His Word by observing the Feast of Tabernacles (Nehemiah 8:13-18), they met for a time of corporate prayer. The celebration brought them to an understanding of both the holiness of God and the depth of their sins, which led to an expression of deep sorrow and humility. The Israelites’ example provides guidelines for the discipline of prayer that are meaningful, logical, and relevant for us today.
In search of a solid foundation in the Law, they returned to Ezra, seeking insight—wisdom that could be built into their daily lives. They committed to clear away the rubble of wrong thinking and their old patterns of living, replacing them with obedience to the Lord and His Law. This biblical method for spiritual renovation is an excellent model for rebuilding our spiritual lives today.
Once the walls and gates were finally completed (Nehemiah 6:15), Nehemiah organized Jerusalem into a well-guarded, stable body of people (7:1-73). The beginnings of spiritual revival were taking place. And the potential for revival is always present in our own lives, if we just know where to look.
For months, Nehemiah led the project of rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls in spite of constant opposition, both subtle and overt. As the walls neared completion (Nehemiah 6:1), threatening foes once again assailed this leader. But this time the attack was much more insidious than before—the enemy attempted to intimidate Nehemiah through several frightening plots.
Using Nehemiah’s own experience as the basis of our study, we learn how to pass the test of integrity that comes with a promotion.
Every worthy task contains its share of challenges, and Nehemiah’s God-given work was no exception. The first 13 verses of Nehemiah 5 shine a spotlight on a dismal financial fiasco involving the workers. This problem caused the project to grind to a temporary halt while their leader guided them to a godly solution. Though our own tasks today are different, problems and difficulties will surely find us, and wise leaders will need to know how to handle them.