Friday, March 28, 2014

Nehemiah, Ten Attributes of a good leader, part 2

6, He was a man who sparked great opposition to the work of God in his times and successfully resisted his opponents.
The source of this opposition was demonic.  You can see the intensity of this opposition through the book of Nehemiah.  Nehemiah 4:1-2 – “When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall; he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, what are those feeble Jews doing?  Will they restore their wall?  Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day?  Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble--burned as they are?"

7. He was a man of courage, he defended the poor and afflicted, and was a righteous governor who had a heart of compassion for the people of God
“Now there was a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brothers. For there were those who said, we, our sons and our daughters are many; therefore let us get grain that we may eat and live." There were others who said, we are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our houses that we might get grain because of the famine. Also there were those who said, "We have borrowed money for the king's tax on our fields and our vineyards. "Now our flesh is like the flesh of our brothers, our children like their children. Yet behold, we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters are forced into bondage already, and we are helpless because our fields and vineyards belong to others. “Then I was very angry when I had heard their outcry and these words. I consulted with myself and contended with the nobles and the rulers and said to them, "You’re exacting usury, each from his brother! Therefore, I held a great assembly against them (Nehemiah 5:1-7).”

8. He was a man of good reputation. Nehemiah 6:11-13- “But I said, "Should a man like me run away?  Or should one like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!  I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.  He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.  Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophetess, and the rest of the prophets who were trying to frighten me.
9. He was a man who loved God and made sure that the priests and Levites were able to teach the people. 
 Nehemiah 8:1-3… “All the people assembled as one man in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded for Israel.  So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.”

10. He was a man of the people, a servant leader.  We see this throughout the book of Nehemiah.
Then Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.  For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law. “Then he said to them, "Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.  So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved. All the people went away to eat, to drink, to send portions and to celebrate a great festival, because they understood the words which had been made known to them” (Nehemiah 8:9-12).”