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Wednesday, May 06 2009
Nehemiah faced what all leaders will face and he did what all leaders should do.  In Nehemiah 4:1 - 3, the Bible states...

But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.

And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?

Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.

Sanballet was the governor of Samaria with aspirations to govern Judah including Jerusalem.  His ambitions were cut short by the arrival of Nehemiah, but he took the "low road" by riduculing and criticizing Nehemiah and the Jews.  As a leader, being a recipient of criticism is found in the fine print of the job description.  There will always be someone that in their mind thinks they can do better or that the leader should have done it differently.  A leader must display "thick skin" and a passion for the vision given to them by God.  It was Nehemiah that did what all leaders should do when facing a battle.  He prayed the following in Nehemiah 4: 4 - 5...

Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.

It is verse 6 that reveals the true leadership skills of Nehemiah.  It simply says...

So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

Those that built the wall at Jerusalem had "bought into" the vision of building the walls.  Therefore they were investing themselves into that vision.  Despite what others were saying or doing, they "had a mind to work".  The Jews were determined to build their city and became unified by the vision revealed to them by Nehemiah. They were enjoying the blessings and anointing of unity. The Bible states in Psalms 133:1 - 2...

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

The life of a modern day leader parallels the life of Nehemiah.  A leader must stand strong despite the opposition or criticism because the task of a leader is God given.  Often times the critics will fall away, but it is not easy to deal with them while in your ear or worse...in the ears of others.  It is in these times that a leader needs to pray and remember Psalms 46:10...

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Posted by: Pastor Robert P. Eaby, Jr. AT 08:15 am   |  Permalink   |  Email