Revelation 4; Nehemiah 5:1-7:4; Psalm 99
Leadership is always a daunting task and Nehemiah had many obstacles to overcome as he led the Jews returning from exile to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. He dealt with nobles who thought they might be to good to work. He faced opposition from those who had been placed in leadership in the land of Israel after the Jews had been exiled. He had to make sure that he was a proper role model for the people. As Nehemiah dealt with all of these issues, he set an example that leaders today would be smart to learn from. He made sure that he wasn’t a burden on the people. Although he had rights as a governor of the land to impose heavy taxes on the people, he sought to lessen the burden as much as possible. Perhaps the greatest danger came from those who sought to “protect” him. These were the previous leaders in the land or their agents who sought ways to compromise the integrity of Nehemiah. They sought to draw him into secret meetings that would allow them to accuse Nehemiah of attempting to take the throne of Jerusalem. When that didn’t work, they made their threats more public. “…And you have also appointed prophets to proclaim concerning you at Jerusalem, saying, ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now these matters will be reported to the king. So come, therefore, and let us consult together. Then I sent to him, saying, ;No such things as you say are being done, but you invent them in your own heart.’” (Nehemiah 6:7-8) A meeting to dispel the notion that he was seeking a crown would be used by his enemies as confirmation of his so-called desires. Through all the situations where Nehemiah could have exercised his rights, where he could have fallen prey to the schemes of his enemies or where the new leaders of the land could have set back the work, Nehemiah remained honest and above board. He governed justly and fairly remembering the needs of the people he governed. Even today, his lessons hold true for leaders and for anyone who seeks to honor God. The challenge for you today is to take one important lesson away from this story that can help you be a better follower of Jesus Christ and thus, a better leader for God in a world that needs godly leaders.
Dear Lord, we have been placed in a land that needs to experience Your love and grace. Our world suffers from lack of leaders who are committed to You. Let me have the wisdom to learn from You and be an example of a godly leader who shows Your love and grace as I lead.