By Mike Chaffin
30 Thus I cleansed them of everything pagan. I also assigned duties to the priests and the Levites, each to his service, 31 and to bringing the wood offering and the firstfruits at appointed times. Remember me, O my God, for good! Nehemiah 13:30-31
Nehemiah was a man who saw a problem and the first thing he did was go to prayer. God’s answer to that prayer was to send Nehemiah to Jerusalem to be the first governor of Judah and to oversee the rebuilding of the city. From a wine serving servant of the king to a man in charge of a town in rubble.
But not just any town. This was Jerusalem, the town every enemy of God’s people loved to hate. The town that housed God’s holy temple. A defenseless town whose walls lay in ruins. Nehemiah knew the importance this city held for restoring Israel, not just as a country, but as a people of God. He was the perfect leader for the job.
Although many books have been written on leadership, one only need to study the book of Nehemiah to get a glimpse of what a great leader he was and the principles he followed. He was a man of the people. He could talk to a king or a poor goat herder with equal respect. Humility, courage, honesty, and strength were just a few character traits he used to achieve success for the goals he has set out. He couldn’t be bribed and he couldn’t be blackmailed. The more people spoke against him, the more it became obvious to the king that Nehemiah was in the right.
The last words of Nehemiah stress the importance of purity in worship, in holiness, in service, and on the job. His final words are a prayer for God to remember him for good. Like Nehemiah, since we are to do all things for the glory of God, our prayer should be the same as our motivation; to do good so God is glorified.
Prayer: Dear Lord thank you for sending Nehemiah to Jerusalem to help reestablish it as a city, focused on rebuilding not only the walls, but the holiness and spirituality of the people. Where Ezra emphasized the importance of purity in worship, Nehemiah did the same in how we conduct ourselves in business and government. Help me follow their examples and teaching so that I may courageously live in purity, no matter what. In Jesus name, Amen.