Lessons From the Life of Nehemiah (Part V)


Nehemiah’s secret to success was that he wasn’t looking to be successful! He just wanted to please the Lord. He followed God and success followed Him!

Moreover, from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year until the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes, twelve years, neither I nor my brothers ate the governor’s provisions. But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people, and took from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God. Indeed, I also continued the work on this wall, and we did not buy any land. All my servants were gathered there for the work.

And at my table were one hundred and fifty Jews and rulers, besides those who came to us from the nations around us. Now that which was prepared daily was one ox and six choice sheep. Also fowl were prepared for me, and once every ten days an abundance of all kinds of wine. Yet in spite of this I did not demand the governor’s provisions, because the bondage was heavy on this people.

Remember me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people. Nehemiah 5: 4-19

Nehemiah not only rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in about 52 days, but he also served the people of God with gladness and generosity! The above passage tells us that he was in the governor’s post for twelve years, but during this time, he did not use the privileges that belonged to his position. Furthermore, he did not tax people or take any money from them. Instead, he fed people at his table regularly.

When was the last time you have seen such a leader in our day and age!?

The world has given us a wrong view of leadership, and many of us contribute to its wrong messages when we make leadership all about the person achieving their potential and their own goals. Nowadays, some leaders look for notoriety, and if they are not getting paid by their churches, their platform allows them to sell their books and products and make a luxurious living.

Leadership is a beautiful combination of character, competency, care, and sacrifice. and Nehemiah certainly had it all!

Jesus set the standard of leadership by surrendering His life to the Father and not having His own ideas of greatness and accomplishments. He knew the work the Father had for Him would require great sacrifice, and He was willing to continue to surrender to the will of the Lord and follow His lead.

In the the Old Testament, Nehemiah showed a picture of the heart of the Father before we knew Jesus., He selflessly gave of his time and resources to serve God and to be a blessing to His people.

The best leaders are those who follow Jesus wholeheartedly. Let’s not confuse gifting and anointing with Godly character. Godly Character allows a person to be willing to live sacrificially and love His people. 

There is a famine of good and Godly leaders in the land. Sadly, when we are looking to pick governmental leaders, many times we pick leaders because they are lesser of two evil. Most of them lack much in Godly character and leadership qualities. No wonder people are jaded with government and politics. Our standard of leadership continues to go lower and lower and we don’t even recognize how low it has gotten.

I love what Nehemiah prayed at the end of this passage in verse 19: Remember me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.

Nehemiah received his encouragement from the Lord. He did not look for the appreciation or the applause of man. People didn’t always listen to him or follow his lead, but, at the end of the day, he was doing all the work for the audience of one. If the Lord remembered him for all the good that he had done for the Israelites that was his greatest reward, and the best gift and blessing he could receive!

This should also be our attitude. We will not always be appreciated or valued for what we do. We may do a lot of work that goes unnoticed by many, but if we do it unto the Lord as an act of worship before Him, He is pleased, and He will remember what we have done for His glory and His name!

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