Nehemiah: Studies on Leadership | Week 04

inGest: The First, the Good, and the Bad

In eliciting the cooperation and coordination of the people, Nehemiah first engaged the high priest and priests to be involved. Though they had priestly duties, they were the first to be assigned to build. Nehemiah ensured that all levels of Jerusalem’s society were to be involved in the work.

As a principle of leadership, it is best to find and to influence the influencers. Since the priests were the spiritual leaders of the city, they were solicited to be an example and an influence to the public. Sometimes these spiritual leaders are those in position, while others are those of experience, character, or perception.

Verse 5 also mentions the Tekoites. After a diligent read of the entire chapter, the reader will also find them in verse 27, which shows they had a double portion of the work. Meshullam the son of Berechiah does one job in verse 4 and later we find him in verse 30, fixing the wall near his house. He not only does the section that is assigned to him, but another that is near his house. No detail is withheld from Nehemiah’s eye.

Does the chapter only witness the positive?Unfortunately the second half of verse 5 mentions the nobles of Tekoa who “did not put their shoulders to the work.” Large projects might see people who are lazy, indifferent, and inactive. In this case, the Bible says that they didn’t go “all out” for the work of the Lord. Sacred projects ordained by God should not be taken lightly.

Just as the records of Nehemiah remember the laziness of the Tekoite nobles as well as the diligence of Meshullam, there is also a record in heaven that remembers all deeds and motivations regarding those in the Lord’s work. As these biblical records show the extra work of the Tekoites, so also will the heavenly records reflect our thoroughness and attentiveness.