God empowers individuals to lead His people in critical times.
COURAGEOUS AND DECISIVE LEADERSHIP
A. Praying and Trusting God
Neh 4:1 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.
Neh 4:2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?
Neh 4:3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.
Neh 4:4 Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity:
Neh 4:5 And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.
…….When Nehemiah heard the threats of the the enemy, his first reaction was to pray. By now he knows this is the only answer to adversity. When we give it to God and seek His design, He always has the perfect plan. He will never leave us stranded without a remedy.
Neh 4:6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
…….The harder the enemy fought, the more seriously Nehemiah worked.
In times of oppression, if you ever think about quitting, remember why you first started!
Neh 4:7 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth,
Neh 4:8 And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.
Neh 4:9 Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.
…….Nehemiah has it figured out, if the enemy is coming against you, pray. If you need God to show you the way, pray. When you need an answer, pray. When you feel like your all alone, pray. When you don’t need anything at all, pray.
Neh 4:10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.
Neh 4:11 And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.
Neh 4:12 And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you.
…….There were certain Jews who evidently were not working on the wall, but placed by God to hear the intentions of the enemy to give warning to Nehemiah to stay on guard at all times, from all directions. God always has a way to warn of the enemies attacks in order to keep us safe.
B. Organizing for Success
…….When we have the mind of God, His thoughts become our thoughts, His plans become our plans, our actions are designed by Him and we will perform victorious!
Neh 4:13 Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.
Neh 4:14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
…….When we are in a battle, we should remember that we are not only fighting for ourselves but for the ones around us! The way we react to the battle determines what and how our children will fight in the future.
Your not fighting for you, but the ones around you!
Neh 4:15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.
Neh 4:16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.
Neh 4:17 They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.
Neh 4:18 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.
…….Sometimes we have to work, at the same time ready to fight. If you are living in the will of God, the enemy will never be pleased or quiet.
Remember; “as a roaring lion.” 1Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
BOLD AND UNSELFISH LEADERSHIP
A. Rebuking Evildoing
……. while Nehemiah was attempting to get the wall of Jerusalem rebuilt, an internal problem among the Jews came to light. The wealthier Jews were oppressing the poorer Jews by lending them money to buy food, charging them interest on the loans contrary to the law of Moses, and holding as security their lands, houses, and children. The poorer Jews complained loudly against these injustices done to them by the richer Jews. Nehemiah, himself a wealthy but righteous Jew, was angered when he heard about this injustice.
Neh 5:7 Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury (hold loans), every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them.
Neh 5:8 And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing to answer.
Neh 5:9 Also I said, It is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?
Neh 5:10 I likewise, and my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this usury.
Neh 5:11 Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them.
…….Mat 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Especially in a time of great need, when people should be coming together the more so, the richer was taking advantage of the poor.
Nehemiah had the mind of God way before it was needed, which caused him to judge righteously. We all should seek for the mind of God before we are in need, no matter what the circumstances are.
B. Correcting Injustices
Neh 5:12 Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise.
Neh 5:13 Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise.
Neh 5:14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor.
Neh 5:15 But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.
…….Nehemiah was a leader that kept himself equal with his people. This is a true sign of humility that will always gain respect of those set beneath. If you want strength in leadership, remember where you came from.
Neh 5:16 Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants were gathered thither unto the work.
Neh 5:17 Moreover there were at my table an hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers, beside those that came unto us from among the heathen that are about us.
Neh 5:18 Now that which was prepared for me daily was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this required not I the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people.
Neh 5:19 Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.
…….Not only did Nehemiah not receive anything from his brethren, but he also fed all of his servants from his own wealth, “an hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers” DAILY!
When we are good stewards of our wealth, the lord will increase and sustain.
PERCEPTIVE AND PERSISTENT LEADERSHIP
A. Depending on God for Strength
Neh 6:1 Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;)
Neh 6:2 That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.
Neh 6:3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?
Neh 6:4 Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.
Neh 6:5 Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand;
Neh 6:6 Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words.
Neh 6:7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.
Neh 6:8 Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.
Neh 6:9 For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.
…….While the enemy of Nehemiah was trying to lure him into a trap, he refused to leave the work.
Many times we think it ok to entertain or stand up against the enemy when we are on top, but most of the time it is better to simply avoid confrontation.
B. Standing Boldly for God
Neh 6:10 Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.
Neh 6:11 And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.
Neh 6:12 And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
Neh 6:13 Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.
Neh 6:14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.
Neh 6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.
Neh 6:16 And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.
…….Overcoming internal problems among the Jews, and while withstanding stubborn opposition from external enemies, Nehemiah and the Jews rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem in only 52 days. This extremely important task was completed more than 90 years after the Jews had returned to Jerusalem from the captivity. The Jews success troubled the Samaritans and Gentiles who opposed them, because they saw that God’s providence was with Nehemiah and the Jews.