Part 5 – The Leadership of Nehemiah
Series: Nehemiah The Builder
Lesson: Part 5 – The Leadership of Nehemiah
Speaker: Ptr. Robert Malit
Passage: Nehemiah 5:19 (KJV)
Service: New Life Bible Class
Date: February 24, 2016
NEHEMIAH THE BUILDER
LESSON NO. 5 THE LEADERSHIP OF NEHEMIAH Chapter 5
“Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for these people.” —Nehemiah 5:19 (KJV)
It is hard to be a leader. You can have the passion, character, knowledge, readiness and abilities to lead people and yet to be a leader in itself requires patience, determination, wisdom and understanding. Nehemiah became a leader because of a need, burden, compassion and his availability. He did not wait for a divine call or an invitation from the Lord to be a man of action. God, through Hanani showed him the disheartening predicament and condition of Jerusalem and gave him the vision. He responded and became more than willing and resolved to bear the task of building the walls on his shoulders. Soon after, he became the governor of Jerusalem without even asking for it. He emerged a leader in the truest sense of the word and took that role of leadership both as a challenge and a direct leading from the Lord.
WHAT KIND OF A LEADER WAS NEHEMIAH?
1. He listened to the cry of the people; opened his eyes to their predicament; and set things in order (vv.1-5). Jerusalem as a war-torn and povertystricken nation during Nehemiah’s time was in dire need of a leader who have the heart and the political will to end poverty, oppression, inequality, grave abuse, unfair competition and unjust compensation. Nehemiah realized that majority of the remnants were left so poor, destitute and open to the grave abuses of those who had money, in power and in authority. Their poverty was beyond words. Their unfavorable condition exposed them to unbearable hardships and sufferings that most Filipinos today can relate to. And these things must stop. Nehemiah weighed all the complaints and allegations and addressed squarely and fairly those problems and brought solutions that benefited everyone. Here we are reminded that as pastors and leaders [teachers], we are dealing with different kinds of people and that we should always be impartial in all our decisions, judgment and actions. To listen well means to hear all sides of a story. Never ever judge so quickly and give in to people’s demands. There are some “disadvantaged” folks today who take advantage of those who are really good and kind. Beware!
2. He was angry at the wrong doings of those nobles and rulers. They have greatly abused their fellowmen and brought them so much misery (v.6). Nehemiah dealt with them but never became judgmental. His anger was kept within bounds but at the same time he was never tolerant toward their sins. His gracious indignation against mischief and abuse became a deterrent to evil and evil workers. In the same manner, as overseers of God’s flock, we must address the sins [wrongdoings] of our people so we could correct them according to the Word of God. We must see to it that we do exercise discipline out of love and not out of mere anger. God
3. He thought and considered about these things (v.7a). Nehemiah took time to consider all the problems presented to him by his people and did pray for wisdom and leading from God. He knew that pursuing social order and instituting economic reforms will affect everyone—to some it would be beneficial and to others, they have to sacrifice their own personal interests for the good of the majority. I always think hard and long before taking an action and as God’s chief servants, we must always stand our ground and make firm and righteous decisions however unpopular those decisions and measures are.
4. He rebuked the leaders before the “great assembly” (vv.7-10). Nehemiah after giving much thought to the condition of the oppressed brethren finally gave sharp rebuke against the nobles and rulers who took advantage of their less fortunate countrymen. He appealed to their consciences and made them right their wrong. He charged them to be just and fair in business, holding them accountable before God. Let us also learn from the instructions of Paul to Timothy and Titus (1 Timothy 5:20; Titus 1:13; 2:15). This, I believe is one of the hardest responsibilities of a leader.
5. He asked for restitution and reconciliation (v.11). A good leader is always listened to (v.12). There should not be any room for abuse of office and discretion, division or discontent in the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:24-26).
6. He made it sure that all things will be made right (v.13). This is not revenge or punishment. This is all about giving proper instruction, protection and preserving a good testimony.
7. He was an example of unselfish leader (vv.14- 18). In his 12 years as governor of Jerusalem, Nehemiah:
7.1. Never took advantage of his position though there were privileges and advantages extended to him (vv.14-15, 18a).
7.2. Never was he lazy or satisfied. He continued the work and finished it laboring with his people (v.16).
7.3. Never was he covetous, neither desired to get rich and powerful. He led a simple and contented life (v.18b). The principle of “hands-on leadership” was applied here. Nehemiah suffered with his people, nevertheless, enjoyed the blessings from the Lord together with them.
Nehemiah’s only RECOURSE is with God alone. His REWARD is God’s goodness. His RESPONSIBILITY is God’s people (v.19), “Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for these people.” May we become leaders [teachers] like Nehemiah.