Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Leadership Observations in the Life of Nehemiah

     Nehemiah and Leadership

Nehemiah 1:1-11, 2:1-20

A.     Nehemiah consulted with his brothers and other men from Judah (1:2)

1.        Leaders consult with peers, which may include family.

B.      Nehemiah inquired of the Jews who escaped and survived captivity and Jerusalem (1:2)

2.        Leaders are concerned of others well-being.

3.        Leaders are concerned about foundational and symbolic cities and/or geography.

4.        Leaders are cognizant of other’s circumstances—(surviving and escaping).

C.     Nehemiah learned of the wall of Jerusalem being broken and its gates burned. He wept, mourned, fasted and prayed for days before God (1:3-5)

5.                  Leaders understand the significance of physical structures:

                                               i.     Spiritual – The wall in those days signified the strength of one’s god. Thus a destroyed and burnt wall reflected poorly upon God.

                                             ii.     Geographical

                                           iii.     Societal

                                            iv.     Political

                                             v.     Emotional

                                            vi.     Relational

6.        Leaders wholly, authentically invest themselves in others’ lives—weeping and mourning for days

7.        Leaders submit themselves to God (Nehemiah uses your servant (NASB) eight times in the first chapter in referring to himself, the Jews and Moses)

8.        Leaders pray to God

9.        Leaders fast before God

10.     Leaders seek God in recognizing, acknowledging, and speaking God's awesomeness

11.     Nehemiah reminds God of His covenant and loving kindness for those obedient to Him (1:6)

12.     Leaders understand the consequences of disobedience to God.

13.     Leaders understand the significance of obedience to God.

14.     Leaders seek God’s attention when praying

15.     Leaders Know God’s Word, and Character--as much as humanly possible--which is a lifelong, perpetual gaining and growing.

D.     Nehemiah confesses sins of sons of Israel and himself (1:6-10)

16.     Leaders confess personal sins

17.     Leaders confess corporal sins

Summarization of Leadership Principles


Nehemiah serves in upper management with King Artaxerxes, as his cupbearer. Consequently, a self-centered leader would lack concern for others, especially those who lack adequacy to aid one's secular gain.

Conversely, Nehemiah's God-centeredness immediately illuminates as he inquires of his brother and peers regarding the status of the Jews who survived and escaped captivity and about Jerusalem. Nehemiah deeply grieves for days over the destruction of Jerusalem's wall because of its spiritual and societal implications.

He recognizes this results from disobedience to God, the vulnerability of the Jews without the wall, and the symbolism of God appearing weak to society. Nehemiah responds with fasting and prayer, along with confession of sins of him and the Jews as a whole.

He pleads to God, reminding God of the covenant, including God's promised response of the Jews obedience and disobedience. Nehemiah diligent planning included prayer while speaking to the King, this also provided God's favor before the King.

Nehemiah responded to the King's questions with specific plans, including the necessary approval letters of others in authority over his route to Judah. Nehemiah's leadership displays the significance of loving God, including his people (Deut. 6:5; Mt. 22:37-40). His leadership and vision relies on knowing God's word, the necessity of obedience, preparation and prayer.

A few Admirable skills/principles noted before engaging the King

 1.     Nehemiah is concerned about the Jews and Jerusalem
a.     Nehemiah records specifics of month, year, and location of inquiry (1:1)
b.     Nehemiah consults with peers and experts (1:2).
c.     “I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped and had survived the captivity, and about Jerusalem. (1:2)
2.      Nehemiah responds to destruction and disobedience with grief for days, before God.
a.     Sat down
                        i.     Lack of physical strength caused from deep mourning
         ii.     Displays long duration of events

b.     Wept

Rick E. Meyer
Running on Faith Ministry, Inc.

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