I find it interesting that I haven’t as much paid attention to the character of Nehemiah since the last four years of my walk with Christ. A man whose story I find very exemplary and inspiring. It wasn’t until some days towards the end of December as I utilized this study plan that his story jumped out to me.
Although I would share some of the things that I find inspiring and challenging about his character, I highly recommend that you take time out to study the book of Nehemiah, it has only about thirteen chapters. Studying his character got me imagining and hoping that more men and women myself not excluded with similar traits as Nehemiah be raised in our world today.
One of the first things that stood out to me about his story is that he was a cupbearer to the king – Nehemiah 1:11 but this seemingly limiting job role did not stop him from championing the team that rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. And from reading on the next chapter, it seemed that he had a decent relationship with the king to the extent that the King recognized that something was wrong with him when he had a sad countenance. – Nehemiah 2:2. The king looked at his sad face and said to him, “why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of the heart.” I really love the fact that he did not take advantage of this relationship for selfish reasons, he could have used it to advance his cause within the palace or within the country, now this leads me to the next thing that stood out to me;
When he learned about the grave state of Jerusalem the bible tells us that he wept for days while he fasted and prayed to the almighty God about it – Nehemiah 1:4-10. It really was heart melting for me to see one’s selflessness displayed in such a manner. How beautiful it would be for more men and women of like manner arise in our world today.
It is also noteworthy that his prayers and supplications did turn things around for Jerusalem.
He was a man of faith and works:
So Nehemiah was not a man to only pray and leave everything in the hands of God, he did recognize his place to make some moves although he had prayed about it.
Prayer makes the work easier, it doesn’t make the work disappear. It isn’t magic.
More so, at the point when the king noticed his grave countenance and asked him what was wrong, Nehemiah described to us that he felt some fear but braced up, then spoke his mind to the king. – Nehemiah 2:2. Once he had expressed the reason for his sadness, the king asked him to make his request. There and then he tells us in his book that he prayed to God then asked the king to allow him go rebuild his city. He did not only stop there, he had the audacity to ask the king for letters to dignitaries to guarantee his safety as he traveled and also access to resources to rebuild his city.
His audacity did come from God and he acknowledged it in his account in Nehemiah 2:8 – He said because the gracious hand of the Lord was upon me, the king granted me all my requests!
It is the audacity for me! The audacity of a cupbearer in a foreign land to make such huge requests from the King. After reading his story, I have come to the conclusion that he got his audacity from the time he spent in God’s presence & walking with God.
His heart must have been in complete sync with God:
I say this because I strongly believe that a mere man controlled by his flesh could not have displayed such selflessness and taken such huge a risk for a country that “probably didn’t care for him.”
More so, the ways he handled the oppositions that came his way while he rebuilt with other men was indeed impressive. Which reiterates my conclusion that Nehemiah was a man whose heart was in complete sync with the Lord. This way he was able to please God as a cupbearer, a builder and even as a leader,
To sum it up, statements like, “And God put it in my heart to assemble the nobles, officials and common people for registration”. – Nehemiah 7:5 is just the ultimate pointer that his heart was in sync with God’s heart. This statement was made more than once through out the book of Nehemiah.
He was a man of Prayer:
Literally every chapter of his book describes to us how he sought God’s face in prayer, how he led the citizens of Jerusalem as they built and even after the completion of the walls.
He had a discerning spirit:
From knowing the right words to say to the king to knowing when to go research round the ruined walls, to knowing when to start building and being able to tell that his enemies had set a traps for him. Nehemiah 2:10-11, 6:11 was certainly impressive.
It just had to be the discerning spirit of the Lord upon him working for him.
He was a great leader:
My short review of the life of Nehemiah does no justice to his character, you definitely should read his whole book. I believe a whole workbook for leadership could be mapped out of his life and taught to generations. He handled every detail of rebuilding Jerusalem’s wall intricately with the help of God.