Biblical Examples of Leadership: Nehemiah, part 1
We have talked a lot about leadership the last few weeks. Earlier this week our blog post looked at one Biblical example, Joseph. In this post, we want to look at the example of Nehemiah.
In some ways their lives were similar. Both men were captives in a foreign land. However, there is nothing in the life of Nehemiah to indicate leadership training. Nehemiah seems to be only a servant to the king, an important servant, but still only a servant. Nehemiah while at the king’s palace in Susa heard that the walls of Jerusalem had still not been rebuilt. The temple had been completed about 70 years earlier but the walls of the city had not been rebuilt. Now, today in our culture this doesn’t seem to be a big deal, however twenty four hundred years ago things were different. This was a serious problem on many different levels.
Nehemiah was crushed, he was devastated by the news of the condition of Jerusalem, and probably by what it implied about the condition of his people. At this point we begin to see a leader develop. In the fires of pain and brokenness God forged Nehemiah into a leader and gave him a vision for what He wanted to accomplish through him. Nehemiah was stirred to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. With this context, over the next few posts we want to look at a few leadership characteristics from the life of Nehemiah.
Leaders understand a God given vision can only be accomplished by God.
Nehemiah cried out to God, “O Lord, I beseech You, may Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and the prayer of Your servants who delight to revere Your name, and make Your servant successful today and grant him compassion before this man. Now I was the cupbearer to the king.” (Nehemiah 1:11)
Notice Nehemiah asked for compassion before the king. He obviously knew God was calling him to leave Susa, travel to Jerusalem, and rebuild the walls. But, he also knew that without the hand of God on him, he stood no chance before the king.
Nehemiah waited. He waited four months before God opened the door for him to speak to the king. He waited on God to do what only God could do.
This is important, because leaders often get ahead of God. Once they have a vision from God they often stop listening and start doing. It’s a mistake that has ruined a lot of leaders. But, Nehemiah waited for months. You might ask “Well, how did he know when the time was right?”
That, my friend, is the next post.
- As a leader, has God given you a vision of what He wants to accomplish?
- If it is a vision from God, then it is something only He can accomplish.
- Are you waiting on Him to reveal the next step, or are you helping Him out?
- Ask God to show you areas where you are not waiting and ask Him to increase your faith so that you will wait.
The button below will lead you to a helpful resource if you want a deeper study of the book of Nehemiah.