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Nehemiah. A Study in Servant Leadership Charles J. Arcoria, DDS, MBA. Nehemiah Artwork. King Cyrus Proclamation to Return. Nehemiah Artwork. Presenting his case to King Artaxerxes. Artaxerxes Reading the Letter. Nehemiah Artwork. Surveying the broken walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah Artwork.

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A Study in Servant Leadership

Charles J. Arcoria, DDS, MBA

Nehemiah artwork1
Nehemiah Artwork

Presenting his case to King Artaxerxes

Nehemiah artwork2
Nehemiah Artwork

Surveying the broken walls of Jerusalem

Nehemiah artwork3
Nehemiah Artwork

Overseeing the Rebuilding of Jerusalem’s Walls

Book of nehemiah
Book of Nehemiah

>Written by Ezra

>13 Chapters

>Covers the period from 445 to 430 BC

>The book and the man are truly inseparable and are a great study in Biblical leadership

Who was nehemiah
Who was Nehemiah

  • Important servant to the King of Persia

  • Was the cupbearer to the King – lucrative job (akin to a country gentleman, today)

  • Was from the tribe of Judah and was prominent

  • Was told about the condition of Jerusalem – he had a decision to make about his life and role

  • He lived about 550 BC

  • He was not a priest

Nehemiah s qualities
Nehemiah’s Qualities

  • Went to God first

  • Got personally involved in the plight of Jerusalem

  • He had a clear recognition of the problem

  • He simply and deliberately met the need and fulfilled the objective

  • He was just one man, but knew he needed the help of others

  • He was humble and respectful

  • He was a servant leader

The talents that god gave to nehemiah
The Talents that God gave to Nehemiah

  • He was an outstanding administrator

    • Possessed leadership and managerial skills

    • He had clear objectives

    • He had competent techniques to accomplish the objectives

    • He had an excellent enlistment program on who would accomplish the tasks

  • He was a great mobilizer by exhibiting decision making and motivational attributes

  • He was an exceptional supervisor, possessing communication, coordination and accountability skills

Comments on nehemiah s role
Comments on Nehemiah’s Role

  • He had concern for the people and God's work (Nehemiah 1:1-3)

  • He was completely dependent on God (Nehemiah 1:4-11)

  • He waited and looked for, then took an opportunity when it arose (Nehemiah 2:1-5)

  • He sacrificed a comfortable position as the King's cupbearer to see God's kingdom developed and his people helped (Nehemiah 2:6-10)

  • He viewed the city and resident's condition to ascertain the facts before giving advice (Nehemiah 2:11-16)

  • He was aggressive & progressive attitude. His advice was to "rise up and build." (Nehemiah 2:17,18)

  • He wasn’t just efficient, he was effective

  • He knew how to manage opposition

Nehemiah text submission
Nehemiah Text - Submission

  • Neh 1:5-7 Then I said: “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly towards you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

Nehemiah text resistance
Nehemiah Text - Resistance

  • Neh 4:4-6 Hear us, O our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of [Or have provoked you to anger before] the builders. So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.

Nehemiah servant leader
Nehemiah – Servant Leader

  • Neh 5:14-16 Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year—twelve years—neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor. But the earlier governors—those preceding me—placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that. Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work.

Nehemiah steadfast
Nehemiah - Steadfast

Neh 6:9-15 They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.” But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me. Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophet Noadiah and how she and the rest of the prophets have been trying to intimidate me. So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.

Nehemiah s idea
Nehemiah’s Idea

  • At that time the city was large and spacious, but the population was small, and none of the houses had been rebuilt.So my God gave me the idea to call together all the nobles and leaders of the city, along with the ordinary citizens, for registration. I had found the genealogical record of those who had first returned to Judah. 

  • –Nehemiah 7:4-5

Opposition nehemiah faced
Opposition Nehemiah Faced

  • Ridicule and intimidation: Nehemiah 2:19, 20

  • Anger and contempt: Nehemiah 4:1-3

  • Conspiracy to stir people up to war against him: Nehemiah 4:7,8

  • Discouragement of the people because of all the rubbish, the opposition of the enemy and the negativity of their own people: Nehemiah 4:10-12

  • Selfish greed – oppression of one for another – taking advantage of the less fortunate: Nehemiah 5:1-5.

  • Craft and deception: Nehemiah 6:1-2

  • False accusation and slander to put fear in the leader: Nehemiah 6:5-7,19

  • Treachery: one of your own turns against you: Nehemiah 6:10

How nehemiah overcame opposition
How Nehemiah Overcame Opposition

  • Ridicule and intimidation was overcome through confidence in God and perseverance

  • Anger and contempt was overcome through Prayer, Hard work and Self-control

  • Conspiracy to stir people up to war against him was overcome by Prayer and watchfulness, and Putting watchmen in place

  • Discouragement of the people was overcome by making some watchmen and arming some, encouraging them not to be afraid

  • Selfish greed was overcome with Holy anger and a strong rebuke

  • Craft and deception was overcome by Spiritual discernment, Wisdom, and Continuing in the work realizing the importance of objectives

  • False accusation and slander was overcome with Confrontation, Prayer for strength and Self-control

  • Treachery by someone close to you was overcome with Courage, Discernment and Prayer

Nehemiah idiom
Nehemiah Idiom

  • You wear your heart on your sleeve

    • “Therefore the king said to me, ‘Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart’.” - Nehemiah 2:2

Important directives in nehemiah
Important Directives in Nehemiah

  • Ne. 1:8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, `If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’

  • Ne. 6:8 I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.”

  • Ne. 8:11 The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve.”

Nehemiah applications
Nehemiah Applications

  • God has a plan for each of us

  • No one is too small or too insignificant to be used by God

  • Recognize our limitations, seek counsel and help

  • Rely on God (Proverbs 3:5)

  • All of us will face opposition. How we will deal with it?

  • Be steadfast & enduring; organize your mind and your life

  • Be servant leaders

  • Where are the servant leaders today in this country?

Psalm 63 1 4
Psalm 63: 1-4

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.

Isaiah 55 6
Isaiah 55:6

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.