I stumbled on Nehemiah last week. Well, intentionally stumbled. And I remain amazed at this humble, strong, quiet, prayerful servant of God. Nehemiah is always praying! I cannot help but share some powerful verses from the story of his leadership during the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls and gates.

In chapter 1, Nehemiah begins his retelling of the events with a God-centered prayer. Verse 5: And I said,

I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments…

 

Before requesting from King Artaxerxes time to help with the wall of Jerusalem, he prayed. 2:4 – Then the King said to me, “What do you request?”

So I prayed to the God of heaven.

And Nehemiah prays throughout this book. He is an intentionally prayerful man who clearly understands he can speak directly with God.

Then I cannot help but feel pulled to take up verse 4:14 as somewhat of a battle prayer for my family in times of attack from culture, society, and government working against the family each and every day just as Nehemiah had to prepare the men rebuilding the wall against the threat of enemies at the same time as they were working actively to repair, rebuild, and recreate the walls and gates.

And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.

And Nehemiah was smart. He had done just that. He placed each man working to rebuild and defend in front of his home. Right at the heart of what mattered.

When he saw the burden of government at all levels and its taxes on the people of the city and their scattered families, Nehemiah, as Jerusalem’s governor now, declared that he would not take the governor’s food provisions. In the last part of verse 18 in chapter 5 he shares that as a responsible leader,

I did not demand the governor’s provisions, because the bondage was heavy on this people.

 

What if our government leaders did the same? Would it put them on level field with us again? Return money to the treasury? I don’t know. But I have cause to wonder.

And when he was tempted he knew, too, that he must be responsible and not cowar and when being tempted through a trick to hide out in the temple, he didn’t just say “No,” he stated in 6:11

Should such a man as I flee? And who is there such as I that would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in!

 

We have many leaders that hide in “temples.” Without hesitation.

And that’s all I can share with you thus far as I’ve not yet studied beyond chapter 10. But I will. And I wonder what I will find? I can hypothesize that I will find Nehemiah in prayer to God for direction and strength. I can hypothesize that I will find Nehemiah continuing to act a responsible and empathetic leader. We’ll see…

Women in the Word Wednesdays is hosted by Good Morning Girls each week.

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