Here we are to the end of Nehemiah and we see today how leadership leaves things when their time is done.
Part 1- To Prevent a Repeat
1. Nehemiah understands what is at stake. He has seen what has happened and watched the people get things straightened out for the first time, in a a long time. Add to that their newly realized passion for the Word of God and he knows there is something unique going on. Unfortunately, he had heard of some evil that had taken place that needed to be addressed to prevent repeating the past. The people need constant reminding of what has happened and what the Word of God says they are to do.
Leadership Principle # 1- Leaders must keep the vision constantly before the people so that they don’t compromise what needs to be done and mess up the work that has already been accomplished.
2. Nehemiah also deals with individual sins that people have committed. He first deals with Tobiah by having him thrown out and the rooms purified. Then he goes and deals with the neglect of the house of God and says, “So I rebuked the officials and asked them, “Why is the house of God neglected?” (Nehemiah 13:11) So, he makes corrections to the people at the different positions in order to protect the house of God. There were also compromises going on with the business practices as well. (working on the Sabbath) All things that they had promised not to do in the agreement.
Leadership Principle # 2- Leaders hold those who are committed to something accountable for their actions.
3. Nehemiah also noticed that the people were intermarrying with pagans. This was something they should have learned their lesson from in the past. It was wrong and it caused Nehemiah to lash out against them. “I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath in God’s name.” This was clearly frustrating to Nehemiah, but he did not give up on them.
“I often ask God what he has me here for. There is so much that is good and then there is so much that is frustrating. The answer I always get is, “see that stuff that frustrates you, that is why you are here.” Missionary in Gabon Africa.
Leadership Principle # 3- Leaders continue to help people see the direction they should go, even when they constantly do the wrong thing.
Part 2- To Continue Personally for God’s Glory
1. Nehemiah ends every phrase here asking God to remember him with favor. He has a desire to make God proud with what he is doing and how he is handling situations. He ends the book saying, “remember me with favor, O my God.” The book of Nehemiah and the story of his leadership begins with God and ends with God.
Leadership Principle #4 – Leaders never stop looking to God for both direction and for approval from the very beginning to the very end.
If you were to take an overview of your life would God be proud? I know that is a hard question. We all have places of influence, some in bigger arenas than others. No matter where God has you, or what he has you doing, your call is to make Him proud.
I would love to hear from you. Are there people who have done this well? Are there stories that you could share about this?