Verse of the Day
I said to the king, “If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” [Nehemiah 2:5 –NASB]
In 1917 as the United States was on the verge of entering World War I, President Wilson spoke to all Americans calling for a “war to end all wars.” Many businessmen, bankers, lawyers, and other professional men respond by joining the executive ranks of various government departments which were sorely in need of experienced leadership. They typically received a dollar a year in salary as remuneration for their services, hence the moniker Dollar-a-Year Men.
In today’s passage, Nehemiah asks permission of King Artaxerxes for a leave of absence so that he could help rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Nehemiah was cupbearer to the king, a high position indeed, but not one that would necessarily equip him with the leadership skills and abilities needed for the task at hand. However, there is no doubt that God chose the right man for the job. Nehemiah turned out to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, leaders in the Bible. He was gifted at organizing and planning, problem solving, teamwork, and encouragement. He successfully dealt with conflict and opposition from both external and internal sources. Perhaps his most defining characteristic was his relationship with the Lord his God. When Nehemiah was confronted with a problem, He always turned to God first for guidance.
If you are a leader or aspire to be one, there is much you can learn from reading about Nehemiah. Like the Dollar-a-Year Men of modern times, he sacrificed much to serve his people and his God. Let’s pray that the leaders of today are made of the same cloth!