Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Year 8, Day 51: Nehemiah 4

Theological Commentary: Click Here

Today we get to see how Nehemiah deals with external criticism.  The people who are living in the land – especially since the Hebrews were deported by Babylon – aren’t happy to see them return.  They are willing to do whatever it takes to stop the progress on the wall.  The first card they play is the easiest one to play.  They criticize and threaten the work.

We face this all the time.  We meet with people who don’t believe we can do it.  We face people who would rather see us fail than succeed.  We meet competitors who are going after the same goal.  There are all kinds of people who stand in our way.  We face external threats all life long.

Look at what Nehemiah does to combat the external threat.  The first thing he does is to plan and then share the plan.  Education is key to fighting the external threat.  When we educate ourselves against the threat, we can plan for it so that it doesn’t defeat us.  Once we have a plan, we need to share the plan with others so that they can benefit from the plan and if necessary hold us accountable. 

Once Nehemiah has shared, the next thing that he does is ensure the cohesiveness of the community.  Nehemiah makes sure that nobody is left isolated.  Like most prey, we are most vulnerable when we are alone.  Nehemiah makes sure that doesn’t happen.

Finally, Nehemiah makes sure that the people are equipped.  People work with spears by their sides.  The builders work with their swords at hand.  A rallying trumpet is kept by Nehemiah’s side at all times so that help can be called if necessary.

This is what leaders do.  We expect opposition.  We work a plan to avoid it.  We invite community.  We equip the people around us.