“Nehemiah’s Pattern for Success”
BIBLE READING: Nehemiah 1-5
Nehemiah is one of the greatest leaders in Jewish history. He wasn’t a King or a judge or even a prophet, he was just a humble cupbearer for King Artaxerxes. How could a man who was a servant in an entirely different nation become one of greatest leaders in Jewish history? Passion…Nehemiah had a passion for his people and his God. As soon as he heard that his home town Jerusalem was in ruins, he wept, mourned and prayed for days for King Artaxerxes to grant his permission to return home and do what he could to rebuild his city. As he makes his way back to Jerusalem to undergo the project of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, the task at hand is much greater than he thought. Not only was he faced with the task at hand, he also must deal with critics and an enemy who would try to stop him for succeeding. How did he do it? How was he able to succeed in such a short amount of time? Obviously, he had God on his side, but beyond that, his process is worthy of us examining for our devotional thought today. First, Nehemiah was able to rebuild these walls because he encouraged the people to work together. In Nehemiah 3 we find the phrase “next to him” or “next to them” repeated. By working together, they were able to accomplish so much more because they were unified in their purpose. The same can be said of us today. God never intended for us to live the Christian life alone. Not only do we have Christ to strengthen us, we also have our fellow brethren who can encourage us. The more we work together, the better we can accomplish. Next, in Nehemiah 4, we see that as they worked together they had to deal with those enemies who were trying to stop their work. In Nehemiah 4.16-18 we see that from that day on, until completion, the people had to work with one hand on their weapon while the other hand was working. The lesson for us today is that they were prepared for anything as they worked. As Christians, it is our job to do the kinds of things that will be pleasing to God; but as we know, the Devil is seeking to thwart our efforts of serving Him. We must be prepared for whatever the enemy will throw our way, so that we can succeed at the task at hand. By following the same pattern of working together and working prepared, we will be able to do more good than not.