Leadership Series: Nehemiah, building a leader who rebuilds Jerusalem

Luke 10 2

Meet Nehemiah. He was instrumental in rebuilding Jerusalem in the fifth century B.C. (following the Babylonian exile). That seems like a monumental task…rebuilding an entire city, and saving its residents. What qualifications did Nehemiah have to do this? Was he a civil engineer, independently wealthy, a great prophet? No. Nehemiah was none of those; he was a cupbearer to king of Persia. He served drinks.

Nehemiah believed that God had a purpose for him, to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the city and restore its people to God. To prepare for his purpose, Nehemiah mourned, fasted, and prayed. “I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” (Nehemiah 1).

In his prayer Nehemiah admits his failures, weaknesses, and sin: “We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.” (Nehemiah 1:7). Nehemiah was just like you and me. He was a sinner.

As a cupbearer, though, the king trusted Nehemiah because plots to poison the king and overthrow the government were common. That trust gave Nehemiah the opportunity to speak to the king directly and ask favors of him.

Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” (Nehemiah 2:2) The king noticed Nehemiah’s sadness because, as Nehemiah explains, he had never shown sadness before when serving the king. Nehemiah explains about the sad state of affairs in Judah. “Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” (Nehemiah 2:3)

After hearing about the sad state of affairs in Judah, Nehemiah acquired the king’s permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city and its fortifications. The king wrote letters and sent them with Nehemiah to ensure his safe passage and to allow Nehemiah to take timber from the king’s forest for the gates and walls of Jerusalem.  (Adapted from Bible History Daily)

Nehemiah had security. He worked for the king. He was comfortable, well liked, and trusted. Nehemiah could have taken the easy way out and left rebuilding the city to someone else. Maybe someone more qualified, or someone local…why him? Because he felt led, and after praying about it he felt empowered. Nehemiah walked by faith, recognized his purpose, and prayed. His prayers were answered with the blessing of provision and providence.

What is God calling you to do? What does the small, still voice of God whisper to you?Maybe you aren’t called to rebuild an actual city, like Nehemiah was, but is God calling you to do something that you may have pushed aside thinking that someone more qualified than you, or more prepared than you, should do? Have you been inclined to take the easy way out, or been left feeling insecure because you think others might be more “spiritual” that you are? Are there relationships that you feel led to restore? Or loved ones that you feel led to reach out about God? Don’t wait thinking that someone else more qualified should do it and recline in your own comfort…Nehemiah was a sinner who served drinks for a living- and he rebuilt Jerusalem.

Do you think Nehemiah was received with open arms by those in the fallen city? Do you think they all rallied behind him and helped? Check back tomorrow to read about Nehemiah’s road trip and reception.

Colossians_3-23b

Nehemiah traveled to the city of Jerusalem. He had been there for three days when he got up in the night, took a few men with him, and rode out to inspect the walls of Jerusalem that had been destroyed by the fire. He didn’t tell anyone what God had put into his heart to do for Jerusalem.

Then I said to them, ‘You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burnt. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no longer suffer disgrace.’ I told them that the hand of my God had been gracious upon me, and also the words that the king had spoken to me. Then they said, ‘Let us start building!’ So they committed themselves to the common good. But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they mocked and ridiculed us, saying, ‘What is this that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?’ Then I replied to them, ‘The God of heaven is the one who will give us success, and we his servants are going to start building; but you have no share or claim or historic right in Jerusalem.’ (Nehemiah 2:17)

Nehemiah finally shares his purpose and he is met with mockery and ridicule. “What is this that you are doing?” “Are you rebelling against the king?”.  Can you relate? Think of a time in your life that you felt empowered to do something and once you put pen to paper, or gave voice to your plan, you were met with a “Satan-shield”, a block, a barrier of ridicule, meant to knock you right off of your footing and thwart your efforts. “Satan shields” pop up all the time, they are the voices of the mockers, meant to feed our insecurity, call into question our plans, and stop us in our tracks. Don’t negotiate with evil, and don’t be stymied by the “satan shield”. God can walk all over that chaos.

Nehemiah stands up to the ridicule and he shows us exactly how to face those “Satan shields”. Nehemiah claims his project, his plan, his provision, and his success for God. He defines his role (as a servant), his plan (rebuilding the city), and the outcome (the mockers will have no share in Jerusalem).

When you face a “Satan shield” state your role (servant of God), your purpose, and claim your success for God and then command Satan to get behind you, you are about the business of God! God has a purpose and a plan, He hears your prayers, and He will fight for you.

Tomorrow Nehemiah assembles his team and executes the plan and the rebuilding begins.

1 Corinthians 14 33

Nehemiah Chapter 3 describes the progress that he and his team made rebuilding Jerusalem. This progress angered their enemies who mocked them and began to plot against them. But Nehemiah and his team kept working and they rebuilt the walls.

So we rebuilt the wall, and all the wall was joined together to half its height; for the people had a mind to work. (Nehemiah 4:6)

When their enemies saw this “they were very angry, and all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it” (Nehemiah 4:8). Have you experienced resistance from others to your faith, to your defense of the truth, or your purpose? Has the enemy and his footmen created confusion to thwart your purpose or hide the truth? God is not the author of confusion.

Nehemiah shows us in chapter 4, verse 9, how to respond to enemy-created confusion: “So we prayed to our God, and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.”

Nehemiah didn’t stop his efforts to listen to the confusion spouted off by his enemies. He didn’t respond to it, try to correct it, or stress out over whether other people believed the confusion. Nehemiah stayed on the course of doing what God directed him to do.

God will protect you and He will direct your path, just as He did for Nehemiah. He will fight for you and equip you to fight your enemies, just as He equipped David to face Goliath.

When our enemies heard that their plot was known to us, and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his work. From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and body-armour; and the leaders posted themselves behind the whole house of Judah, who were building the wall. The burden-bearers carried their loads in such a way that each laboured on the work with one hand and with the other held a weapon. And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built. The man who sounded the trumpet was beside me. 19And I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, ‘The work is great and widely spread out, and we are separated far from one another on the wall. Rally to us wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet. Our God will fight for us.’ (Nehemiah 4:15)

Nehemiah, a wise and faithful governor, stood up against attacks from all sides. He also dealt with complaints from the people he was working to help. Tomorrow Nehemiah helps the poor.

Proverbs 19

Nehemiah was a leader. Leaders are tested, and Nehemiah is no exception. Nehemiah was first tested by the confusion created by his enemies and their mocking and cruel words, and now Nehemiah would be tested by the members of his own team. This test, from Nehemiah’s own people, caused so much internal distress that it almost ruined their efforts to rebuild Jerusalem.

It started with a famine. There wasn’t enough food to feed the people in Jerusalem, and they were taxed so heavily that once they paid their due they had little left. They were working hard but had nothing tangible to show for it.

“We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain.”  Others were saying, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine.” Still others were saying, “We have had to borrow money to pay the king’s taxon our fields and vineyards.  Although we are of the same flesh and blood as our fellow Jews and though our children are as good as theirs, yet we have to subject our sons and daughters to slavery. Some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but we are powerless, because our fields and our vineyards belong to others.” (Nehemiah 5:2-6)

The nobles, the same folks who were mocking Nehemiah and trying to call into question his authority, and ruin his plans, were living high on the hog and doing it so haughtily as to rub the noses of Nehemiah’s people in it. The nobles chowed down on filet mignon in view of the workers eating gruel, taunting them, teasing them, and it worked.

There is nothing like the test of your leadership from within your organization.

The emotional and spiritual stress can become unbearable upon the leader who is under pressure. Some leaders break under the pressure, others become too discouraged and quit, some build walls around themselves to insulate the hurts. Some become embattled, embittered, and vindictive and further isolated resulting in failure. Still others grow from the experience and become effective leaders under stress. How will Nehemiah react? Will he throw up his hands in despair? No, Nehemiah did not let this difficult situation shake him.

“People who had been greatly united when opposed by the external enemy were threatened by internal strife and dissension. If you want a work of God ruined, let misunderstanding, discouragement and mistrust arise.” [Adapted from message by Wil Pounds, 2005]

Now there was a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brothers” (Nehemiah 5:1, NASB 1995).

The internal problem Nehemiah faces has to deal with the division between rich and poor.

Destruction and despair marks the opening verses in Nehemiah 5:1-5. In this chapter we are face to face with an internal enemy which is potentially more dangerous than the others because it threatens their unity. It is the age-old gap between the rich and the poor. Instead of the rich Jewish leaders in Jerusalem helping their Jewish brothers, they were exploring the poor. [Adapted from message by Wil Pounds, 2005]

These poor people lost everything, even their families as the poverty led to slavery. Selfishness and greed raised their ugly heads in a day of crisis. People did not have enough to eat, and families had mortgaged their farms. Crop failures had drastically reduced the family income. Because of the famine, money was unavailable for the farmers to pay their taxes. These taxes further reduced their holdings. With no resources available to pay taxes, or to feed their families, families made the desperate and traumatic decision to sell their children as slaves. Obvious despair resulted from the results of the famine and exploitation.

Then I was very angry when I had heard their outcry and these words” (Nehemiah 5:6).

Nehemiah was angry because the nobles and leaders were disobeying the Law. He was a righteous man and this was the time for righteous anger. Nehemiah took a stand; leadership involves personal risk. Nehemiah 5:7 tells us that he thought things through. He didn’t fly off the handle, or react inappropriately. He contained himself; self-control is essential for a leader, and he does not become a victim of his circumstances.

The rebuilding of Jerusalem stopped while Nehemiah addressed the age old battle of the division between the rich and poor. The corruption of greed challenged the depth of his organization and Nehemiah faced some significant leadership challenges.

Nelson Mandela said “Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.” His words were every bit as relevant in Nehemiah’s experience as they were when Nelson Mandela said them. Although the famine was not man made, it did not cause the dire situation of poverty- actions by the nobles (excess taxation) did.

Come back next week- Monday we’ll see what happens when Nehemiah, empowered by God and filled with compassion, confronts the nobles and then we’ll see how his project to rebuild Jerusalem ends up.

Everyone needs compassion
A love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me. -Lyrics from Mighty to Save

James 1 19

I don’t like conflict. I won’t bury my head in the sand to avoid it, but I don’t actively seek it out. But conflict finds all of us, despite our best intentions. I think, for a lot of us, dealing with conflict and trying to resolve it is not only uncomfortable, but we just really don’t know the right way to do it. We throw some effort out there, sort of like throwing darts with one eye closed, and see what happens. The Bible gives us very clear instruction about our responsibilities toward addressing conflict, and Nehemiah illustrates them perfectly. What a great outline for us to follow the next time conflict roars into our lives.

1. Identify the conflict: Name the offender and the offense:

Nehemiah, angered by the exploitation of the poor Jewish people by the rich nobles, moved from righteous yet self-controlled anger into action by seeking resolution. Nehemiah begins by identifying the conflict. In this case it was abuse and exploitation of the poor by the rich.

2. Pray, Prepare, and Gather support for your position:

Nehemiah then gathers Biblical evidence to support his position.

The Old Testament law was very clear regarding the abuse of the poor (Ex. 22:25; Lev. 25:35-41; Deut. 23:19-20). The Jewish people were not to exploit their own citizens. It is wrong to charge fellow Jews interest on loans, and force a fellow Jew into slavery (vv. 7-8).

3. Confront the offender privately:

Nehemiah confronted the nobles privately. When that didn’t work Nehemiah called an assembly and confronted the nobles in public.

Nehemiah follows the conflict resolution steps defined by Jesus in Matthew 18: “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

4. If necessary confront the offender publicly:

Nehemiah’s efforts to confront the nobles publicly did not resolve the conflict so Nehemiah called a great assembly and brought together the powerful rich landlords and the poor disadvantaged residents.

5. Calmly state your case and call to action:

The only behavior that changes is observed behavior. Explain your anger, don’t express your anger.

Nehemiah called upon the leaders to stop the evil behavior. “And likewise I, my brothers and my servants are lending them money and grain. Please, let us leave off this usury” (Nehemiah 5:10). Break the behavior pattern now. Immediate action was called for. He asked them for a specific time to implement the decision. “Please, give back to them this very day their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money and of the grain, the new wine and the oil that you are exacting from them” (Nehemiah 5:11). He called on specific behavior to change and gave a time to begin.

Chuck Swindoll has some excellent words.

When God shows us a particular sin that we are guilty of, He doesn’t tell us to take our time dealing with it. No, He says, Deal with it NOW! When we realize what we are doing wrong, now is the time to stop it. Making long-range plans to correct a problem allows the sands of time to hone off the raw edges of God’s reproof in our lives. We end up tolerating that sin and perhaps even protecting it. A prompt and thorough dealing with wrong in our lives is essential. As in finances, it is best to keep all accounts current. (Hand Me Another Brick, p. 106).

6. Accept the apology

The response of the nobles at the public meeting was noble.  “We will give it back,” they said. “And we will not demand anything more from them. We will do as you say.” (Nehemiah 5:12)

7. Engage public accountability

Nehemiah didn’t doubt the promise of the nobles. That wasn’t his place to do. But Nehemiah did encourage public accountability to preserve the results of his efforts and provide a catalyst for change. Think of it as a receipt for his accomplishment, a security note of sorts.

Then I summoned the priests and made the nobles and officials take an oath to do what they had promised. (Nehemiah 5:12)

I also shook out the folds of my robe and said, “In this way may God shake out of their house and possessions anyone who does not keep this promise. So may such a person be shaken out and emptied!” 

At this the whole assembly said, “Amen,” and praised the Lord. And the people did as they had promised. (Nehemiah 5:13)

One step that didn’t happen in Nehemiah’s case, but may very well happen during our own conflict resolution attempts is listening to the explanation. If the offender offers an explanation, I think that the direction in James 1:19, that we are to be quick to listen applies. Listen to the explanation, consider the explanation, don’t be a mountain refusing to be moved if there is validity to perspectives that you may have not have considered, or may not have known. Step back, allow yourself time to process the information, the pray over it, and if necessary to validate it. Then prayerfully revisit your position on the issue and decide the next steps.

Come back tomorrow when we’ll follow the next steps in Nehemiah’s journey. He is appointed Governor and his has ample opportunity to test his integrity. He resumes the rebuilding of Jerusalem and encounters more opposition. There are no easy breaks for Nehemiah, but he refuses to be shaken.

Matthew-25-35

Let’s recap: Nehemiah left his comfy job working as a cup bearer to the king of Persia and traveled to Jerusalem to rebuild the city after the Babylonian exile. He wasn’t an architect, or a general contractor…he was a bartender on a faith based mission, a disciple. He gave up working for the king, for a new job working for the King. During his mission Nehemiah met with opposition and ridicule from the nobles and then faced an uprising from his own people in response to oppression, famine, and forced slavery. Nehemiah faced the nobles, lobbied for justice and truth, and was successful. You might think Nehemiah would take some credit, or enjoy a reward or two for his actions…but if you think that, you don’t yet know Nehemiah.

Nehemiah was serving as governor. During this time he was entitled to a food allotment (remember that there is a famine going on). Neither Nehemiah nor his brothers took that food allotment. Their predecessors received money and land from the oppressed in addition to the allotment of food and wine. Nehemiah 5:14 explains that the governors who served before him profited from their position, and that their assistants lorded over the people. But Nehemiah takes a far different approach:

But out of reverence for God I did not act like that.  Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land.(Nehemiah 5:14)

Furthermore, a hundred and fifty Jews and officials ate at my table, as well as those who came to us from the surrounding nations. Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry were prepared for me, and every ten days an abundant supply of wine of all kinds. In spite of all this, I never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people. (Nehemiah 5:17)

Not only did Nehemiah not take the amount to which he was entitled. He shared everything he had with the people and he recognized how great the demands were on them. Nehemiah was an example of how God leads, refreshes, and satisfies. Nehemiah wasn’t sidelined by the chaos- he knew that God walks on chaos.

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:31)

with-god-all-things-are-possible-god-quote

Nehemiah, a bartender on a mission from God to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem that had fallen to the Babylonians, took a stand against corruption. He was doing the work that God sent him to do: rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and rebuilding the people impacted by the famine and corruption and encouraging them to restore their relationship with God.

Sometimes the journeys that God calls us on follow a smooth path lined with beautiful scenery. Other times His journey follows a rocky, steep, rugged terrain. Both journeys are filled with His providence. Don’t doubt that the mission is any less blessed because the terrain is rocky. Nehemiah didn’t stop his work and say “Well, if God really wanted me to rebuild this wall he would have given me a safer climate, eliminated the famine, and given me better people to work with.” Don’t fall into the trap of believing that things should be easy.

When Nehemiah’s enemies heard that they had successfully rebuilt the wall they met together and conspired against him (Nehemiah 6:1). His enemies were scheming to harm him.  Four times they beckoned him to come down and meet them. Four times Nehemiah refused. The fifth time his enemies sent a message. They said that rumor had it he was plotting to become king, that he was working to undermine authority. Nehemiah’s response is epic:

Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.” (Nehemiah 6:8)

Nehemiah literally tells his enemies that “it’s all in their heads”. He isn’t stymied for a second. He just keeps plugging away.

Lies. Untruths. Rumors. Divisive attempts to undermine his work. Threats. Ridicule. Nehemiah endured it all, but still he went about doing the work of God. Nehemiah explains the intentions of his enemies:

They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”

But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.” (Nehemiah 6:9)

Nehemiah’s response to his enemies attempt to undermine his project and stymie his efforts: he prayed. He didn’t take things into his own hands, or change his course of action. He simply prayed.

Nehemiah then learned that his enemies are trying to kill him and his people encouraged him to leave before he is captured. But Nehemiah does not back down or run away- he stands for truth “But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” (Nehemiah 6:11)

Nehemiah identified his enemies agenda: “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.” (Nehemiah 6:13).

But Nehemiah doesn’t cower to intimidation. He keeps working, and he successfully rebuilds the wall. In Nehemiah 6:15 he confirms that the wall was completely rebuilt in 52 days. 52 days?! To rebuild the wall around Jerusalem? Now granted there wasn’t a permit process in those days, but 52 days is an amazing schedule. It’s God’s timing!

When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God. (Nehemiah 6:16)

I will cast my cares on You
You’re the anchor of my hope
The only one who’s in control
I will cast my cares on You
I’ll trade the troubles of this world
For Your peace inside my soul

This war’s not what I would’ve chosen
But You see the future no one knows yet. -Lyrics from Cast My Cares by Finding Favour

Tomorrow- read what happens after Nehemiah finishes rebuilding the wall.

JudahWatchman_5x7

O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. (Isaiah 62:6)

What a prophecy this verse is for what happens next in Nehemiah’s story. The wall is finished and Nehemiah appoints “gatekeepers, musicians and the Levites” to the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 7:1).

In the ancient world of agrarian societies, large watchtowers were placed overlooking the fields. There, in the weeks the crops were ripening toward harvest, men would stand watch, guarding the fields from animals or from thieves who would make off with the crops. With the community’s basic food stores at stake, the watchman’s role was critical to the townspeople. The watchmen of the walls were responsible to guard the city against outside threats. (Excerpt from The Role of a Watchman, Darris McNealy)

The Bible uses the role of a watchman to describe the work of a prophet. God said to the prophet Ezekiel, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me” (Ezekiel 3:17).

In Jerusalem the watchmen protected the city from outside threats and also from ungodly influences. For the Christian, God is our watchman, the Lion on the ledge. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  (Psalm 46:1 NKJV)

Nehemiah appointed two governors or consuls, to whom he committed the care of the city, and gave them in charge to provide for the public peace and safety.  He also appointed “residents of Jerusalem as guards, some at their posts and some near their own houses.” (Nehemiah 7:4)

He ordered the rulers of the city to do the following: (1.) To stand by, and see the city-gates shut up and barred every night. (2.) To take care that they should not be opened in the morning until they could see that all was clear and quiet. (3.) To set sentinels upon the walls, or elsewhere, at convenient distances, who should, in case of the approach of the enemy, give timely notice to the city of the danger; and, as it came to their turn to watch, they must post themselves over against their own houses, because of them, it might be presumed, they would be in a particular manner careful. [Excerpt, Matthew Henry commentary]

Nehemiah executed God’s plan, completed the project, and then put the procedures in place to manage that project. And then God put something else on Nehemiah’s heart. Nehemiah looked around and noticed that the area inside the walls he had rebuilt was pretty empty.

So my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the common people for registration by families. (Nehemiah 7:5)

Nehemiah recognized that the idea was from God and Nehemiah knew that all good and perfect gifts come from Him.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:7)

So now that the walls were rebuilt, and the watchmen appointed, Nehemiah starts phase 2 of his God-project: overseeing the return of those residents who had been exiled. Tomorrow we’ll read about how that process went.

Nehemiah 8 10

The new gates of Jerusalem open and the exiled return. Nehemiah 8 is a census report of who among the exiled returned, a complete accounting of person, animal, and property.

The priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the temple servants, along with certain of the people and the rest of the Israelites, settled in their own towns. (Nehemiah 7:73)

The population of the rebuilt Jerusalem assembled and set order.  All the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel. (Nehemiah 8:1). Ezra read from the book and all the people affirmed their understanding of the laws by shouting “Amen!” “Amen!”.

It was a holy, joyous day. The walls were rebuilt, the exiled had returned home, and their relationship with God restored.  “Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.” (Nehemiah 8:12)

The Israelites confessed their sins and really started all over again. They made a binding agreement as new residents of Jerusalem and put their seal on it (remember the importance of engaging public accountability that we saw earlier in Nehemiah? Here it is again). Nehemiah 10 records who put their seal on the binding agreement and solidifies the agreement. Among other things the new residents of Jerusalem promise not to neglect the house of God (Nehemiah 10:39). That promise meant tending to their relationships with God.

The walls of Jerusalem were dedicated in a joyful ceremony.  Choirs sang and gave thanks and the priests and the Levites purified themselves, the people, the gates, and the wall. (Nehemiah 12:30).

If I can encourage you with a take away from this final installment of the Nehemiah series it would be to:

I loved writing the Nehemiah series. I had no idea what an amazing leader he was until I started reading and researching for this series. There may be a book about leadership that comes out of this series…stay tuned. Be sure to come back tomorrow for the “Weekend Weave”.

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