Blog: Max Dawson
July 6, 2017
That’s a question we need to ask and answer!
In Monday’s Leadership Blog I wrote about the success Nehemiah had in rebuilding the walls of the city of Jerusalem. He was a visionary leader. While he never received a miraculous vision from God, his insight into what could be done was powerful.
He set out all the way from Persia to go to Jerusalem–a distance of more than 800 miles. When he got to the city, he motivated the Jewish people to “rise up and build” (). The work was completed in only 52 days ().
Now to our question: Why Nehemiah? There were thousands of Jews living in Jerusalem. Why had they not rebuilt the walls? Maybe instead of making brick and mortar they were making excuses. Here are some they might have given.
“I am working on my own house. Maybe when I finish it…” Nehemiah had his priorities right. He put God’s kingdom first ().
“I am just one person. The job is too big for me.” Nehemiah was also just one person–but he enlisted the help of others.
“Nobody else is doing it. Why should I?” Because God’s work must be done! Nehemiah acted when nobody else did!
“We’ve just sort of gotten used to the mess here.” They tolerated the intolerable. Nehemiah could not tolerate that the city was in such disrepair ().
“The job is too big for us.” Are these people grasshoppers? The job wasn’t too big for the willing.
“We tried it earlier and it didn’t work.” Maybe they did not work! When Nehemiah came to town, they just did it!
“Maybe God will send someone else to lead in rebuilding the walls.” Indeed, that is what God did. But what a shame that he couldn’t use the men already in Jerusalem to lead in that project!
Look at the excuses above. The men of Jerusalem might have said some of those very things. Someone might ask me, “Max, how did you come up with that list?” I did not have to use my imagination–because I have heard every word above uttered by leaders in God’s kingdom today. Every word!
Sometimes these words are on the lips of elders and deacons. But the most common place to hear them is in men’s business meetings. Someone may come up with a plan to do something that everyone agrees should be done… But then the excuses come up one after another. It seems that some brethren try to find reasons why we can’t do God’s work. Can we leave that failed disposition in the past?
My beloved brethren, it is time for a new day in the kingdom! It is time for us to be optimistic and full of faith. If something really ought to be done, then let’s look for ways to accomplish it. God is on our side. Let us rise up and build!
Don’t wait for Nehemiah to show up. Let’s get to work right now!
Blessings to you, my hard-working friends,

18 And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. (ESV)

15 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. (ESV)

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1:1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah.

Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the capital, that Hanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.”

As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. (ESV)