Leadership Lessons from the Life of Nehemiah

Around 586 B.C. the walls of Jerusalem were destroyed. The Bible explains how the walls were, “broken down and its gates…were consumed by fire.” (Nehemiah 2:13). Here no one seemed to be bothered by these walls. A whole generation had passed and not fixed the walls. Then arrives a man named Nehemiah onto the scene. He was the cup bearer to King Artaxerxes and led the people to rebuild the walls.

When he heard about the walls he said, “I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4). Not only were the walls down but they had been demolished for a long time. According to Dr. Israel Loken’s commentary on the book, “The walls of Jerusalem have lain in ruins for almost a century and a half (586-444 B.C.).” (Loken p.23).  This was dangerous because the city was unprotected. Their enemies could simply walk through the city.

“See a need, fill a need” that was the moto of an inventor’s company in the movie, “Robots.” This shows a great example of what it means to lead. Everyone can be a leader. It is not about title, rank, or popularity. It is all about influence. Good leaders simply see the problem, but great leaders see the problem and find a way to fix it.

Nehemiah was able to organize and finish the construction of the walls in record time. Kevin Hall wrote about the length of Jerusalem during this time, and he said the land stretched for, “30 acres.” There was no heavy machinery like we have today, it was all brut strength. In fact, it was completed in, “fifty-two days” (Nehemiah 6:15).

Many people are not ready for change. They saw the walls down and could have thought, “Things have always been like this, so why do something now?” Thankfully Nehemiah had a desire. When you enjoy God and allow Him to direct your steps he will give you, “the desires of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4). What is your wall? What is God guiding you to build? Great leaders, “see a need” then they, “fill a need.”

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