Today I was reading Nehemiah. He just finished rebuilding the wall, set up all the right processes for the city of Jerusalem and then had to return to King Artaxerxes in Susa. He’s in Susa for some time before he returns to Jerusalem to find the people not keeping the sabbath, the priests doing things for their own gain, and people marrying others they are not supposed to marry. Nehemiah throws down some serious stuff on them. So much so that he says, “I beat some of them and even pulled out their hair (Neh. 13:23ff).” That’s a new style of leadership!
Once he confronts everyone and get’s them focused on God again, they have a celebration to dedicate the wall that was built. People are filled with joy and bring all kinds of tithes and offerings to celebrate.
This was a good reminder that leadership is tough. People tend to drift away from what’s good and what God wants for them. It takes leaders like Nehemiah to do the hard work of pointing people back to God. In the end there is great joy and celebration when people are in right relationship with their maker…but it takes hard work (and even times of pulling out my own hair).
Be strong today!