Nehemiah: Studies on Leadership | Week 03

inSight: Preparing the Pitch

The royal letters to the governors of the provinces along his route, secured to Nehemiah an honorable reception and prompt assistance. And no enemy dared molest the official who was guarded by the power of the Persian king and treated with marked consideration by the provincial rulers. Nehemiah’s journey was safe and prosperous.

His arrival at Jerusalem, however, with the attendance of a military guard, showing that he had come on some important mission, excited the jealousy and hatred of the enemies of Israel…

Nehemiah continued to exercise the same caution and prudence that had hitherto marked his course. Knowing that bitter and determined enemies stood ready to oppose every effort for the restoration of Jerusalem, he concealed the nature of his mission until a study of the situation had enabled him to form his plans. Thus he was prepared to secure the cooperation of the people, and set them at work before his enemies had opportunity to arouse their fears or their prejudice.

Nehemiah had been highly honored of God, and had been entrusted with great responsibilities; but he did not, because of this, presume to act in an independent, self-sufficient manner. He selected a few persons whom he knew to be worthy of confidence, and to them he made known the circumstances that had led to his visit to Jerusalem, the object to be accomplished, and the plans that he purposed to employ. Thus he secured their assistance in his important undertaking…

In secret and silence, Nehemiah completed his circuit of the walls…In this painful survey he did not wish to attract the attention of either friends or foes, lest an excitement should be created, and reports be put in circulation that might defeat, or at least hinder, his work. Lessons from the Life of Nehemiah by Mrs. E. G. White, pp. 20–22 (SW March 22, 1904, Art. A)

Although Nehemiah bore a royal commission requiring the inhabitants to co-operate with him in rebuilding the walls of the city, he chose not to depend upon the mere exercise of authority. He sought rather to gain the confidence and sympathy of the people, well knowing that a union of hearts as well as hands was essential to success in the great work which he had undertaken. When he called the people together on the morrow, he presented such arguments as were calculated to arouse their dormant energies and to unite their scattered numbers…

There is need of Nehemiahs in the church today,—not men who can pray and preach only, but men whose prayers and sermons are braced with firm and eager purpose…The success attending Nehemiah’s efforts shows what prayer, faith, and wise, energetic action will accomplish. Living faith will prompt to energetic action. The spirit manifested by the leader will be, to a great extent, reflected by the people. Lessons from the Life of Nehemiah by Mrs. E. G. White, pp.25, 26 (SW March 29, 1904, Art. A)