- Neh. 4:1-6:16
Despite continued opposition from the Samaritan leader and others, Nehemiah pushed on in leading the reconstruction of Jerusalem's walls and gates. In only 52 days, the people completed the rebuilding project. When the enemies of the Jews saw that the project was successfully completed, they lost their self-confidence and became afraid because they could see that GOD had blessed the Jews' efforts.
Many times in our lives the most worthwhile projects are the most strongly opposed. There are the forces of good, led by GOD, and the forces of evil, led by Satan. The more good a person tries to accomplish, the more strongly they will be opposed by the forces of evil in an effort to try and keep the desired outcome from happening. That is a true life-lesson, to be certain. You will always have people around you who will tell you that you can't do it—whatever you're trying to accomplish—and that you'll be defeated. These are often called naysayers because they are always negative and discouraging.
Nehemiah and the Jews had plenty of naysayers around who were not only telling them they couldn't succeed but also doing everything they could to mess up the rebuilding effort. Rather than seek vengeance, Nehemiah properly prepared his people with weapons to defend themselves against the attacks and Nehemiah prayed to GOD to defeat the enemies' attempts to thwart their project.
Once again, we can learn valuable lessons from Nehemiah's actions. Today I want to focus on three leadership lessons we can learn:
- Don't allow outside distractions to cause you to lose focus on your goal. Nehemiah didn't allow letters from enemies, physical attacks, threats of intimidation, or even bribery to sway him from the task at hand.
- Ensure your people have the right tools necessary to complete the task they've been given. Nehemiah provided food, construction tools, manpower and eventually soldiers to protect the workers while they worked. It got to a point where the builders kept their swords on them at all times in case they were attacked.
- Once you've done all you can do, leave the rest up to GOD. Nehemiah worked as hard as he could and so did his fellow countrymen. They didn't seek out revenge on the Samaritans or other enemies. Instead, they prayed to GOD and asked Him to remember those peoples' efforts to harm them and that He reward them properly.