Lessons on Leadership from Nehemiah

Lessons on Leadership from Nehemiah


Categories: Lessons on Leadership

Nehemiah is the story of a man who built up the people of God by returning to Jerusalem to build up the walls around the city of God.  When he arrived in the city, he saw it was in ruins. A lot of people are very interested in ruins, and they will go all over the world to see certain ruins. The Acropolis in Athens is one of the most famous ruins in the world. Thousands of tourists visit that notable hill every year, and secretly steal small marble pieces from among the ruins. Yet there continues to be enough ruins left, because the people of Athens understand that people love ruins, so every couple of months a large dump truck comes by at a quiet time and pours a whole new load of marble chunks across the face of that mountain. 

In Nehemiah, we find that God has a little different attitude about ruins than we do. He isn’t nearly as enamored with them as we are. God would rather build, than sight see. Building up spiritual houses is what the book of Nehemiah is all about. As one author has put it, “Survival has replaced revival as the plan for the future.” Nehemiah was one of God’s great builders, and from this God-lead man we can learn how to leave behind the ruins of our past and learn how to be used by God as living stones to build up His kingdom.

The one God used to build up His people, is truly a remarkable man. The Book of Nehemiah opens with these words: “The words of Nehemiah, the son of Hacaliah.” The book appears to be largely, if not entirely, based on the personal memoirs of this governor of Judea. Much of the book is written in the first person. Therefore, we have an opportunity to get an intimate, inside-look into the life of this man. His story is a continuation of the thrilling history portrayed in Ezra. The lives of Ezra and Nehemiah overlapped. In fact, their two books were considered a single unity for centuries. While Ezra deals primarily with the religious restoration of Judah, Nehemiah is concerned with Judah’s political and geographical restoration. The first seven chapters are devoted to the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls because Jerusalem was the spiritual and political center of Judah. Without walls, Jerusalem could hardly be considered a city at all. As governor, Nehemiah also established firm civil authority. Ezra and Nehemiah worked together to build the people spiritually and morally so that the restoration would be complete.

For the month of February, we want to consider Nehemiah’s life from the book that bears his name. We will learn many lessons useful for us today.

In this reading, we learn the need to have a heart for God’s business. Nehemiah did not have to go to Jerusalem. But Jerusalem was the place God had recorded His name. As far as he was concerned, he had no other option than to go.

We must have that same kind of mind toward God’s business today. It probably won’t be building walls, but we will see he also built up the people. Yes, somebody else could do it, but we must personally feel the need to help.