God of all the Nations, from You every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. Thank You for making Your name known.
Read NEHEMIAH 4:1–23
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Don’t be afraid… Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome” (Neh. 4:14). Come before God, splendid and mighty, who knows your concerns.
Some leaders are task-oriented: strategical and focused on getting the job done. Others are more relational, great at building and motivating a team. What stands out about Nehemiah is how he combines single-mindedness with care for his co-workers.
On the face of it, the task is clear: to build the walls of Jerusalem and replace the gates. The person-power, however, is less straightforward. The people have lived with the rubble-strewn status quo for a century. Furthermore, goldsmiths and perfume makers do not make obvious construction workers. The obstacles to successful completion mount up, not least through multi-pronged attacks exposing the weaknesses of the project. Private ridicule becomes a public barrage of questions (2,3). Designed to undermine Judean morale, scoffers sneer at their DIY inexperience and inadequate materials. Neighboring enemies join in planning a military confrontation from all sides. Mockery, intimidation, exposure and threat are formidable weapons in bringing many a God-inspired mission to its knees. So is discouragement.
For each assault, Nehemiah plans a response. He encourages corporate prayer for protection (9). He is aware of the weary lament repeated as people despair at the enormity of the task (10) and fear for their survival. He understands their emotional vulnerabilities. They need to hear ancient assurances that almighty God fights for them. They need to remember that they are a team, standing shoulder to shoulder. They need to be comforted by immediate plans as well as challenged by the ultimate goal. They need to observe hard work wedded to dependence on God. Nehemiah is alert, tireless, undaunted, sensitive and confident in God’s protection. In pushing to complete the task, he is also shaping a united cohesive community, by God’s grace.
What area of your life seems filled with “rubble”? In what ways are you cooperating with others and trusting God to rebuild?
Lord, please use even the battles I face in Your name to deepen my fellowship with You and with my brothers and sisters in Christ.