For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.  (Nehemiah 6:9)

If you want a lesson on leadership, look no further than the life of Nehemiah, a Jewish layman. He will show you how to handle resistance when serving God or facing a difficult task.  One of the Bible's greatest heroes, Nehemiah demonstrates remarkable leadership in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.

In 586 BC, the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and broke down the city walls.  Nehemiah’s story began much later in 445 BC when he learned that the walls and gates were still in ruins.  Nehemiah was a man of prayer who took action.  He rallied the Jews to rebuild the walls needed to protect them from their enemies.  The men worked tirelessly from sunrise to sunset but were met with opposition.  Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem, who were enemies of the Jews, tried to stop the work by taunting the workers.  Nehemiah and his men ignored their insults and kept on working.  But Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem were relentless, and they plotted against Nehemiah and threatened to fight against Jerusalem.  Nehemiah organized a round-the-clock defense and assigned half the people to build and the other half to stand guard.  From start to finish, Nehemiah prayed continually and kept the project moving.  He led by example and persevered to the end.  In spite of tremendous opposition, the walls were rebuilt in fifty-two days.

Are your efforts to serve God met with resistance?  Are you trying to accomplish a difficult task and being bombarded with ridicule?  If people say you cannot succeed, remember Nehemiah’s refusal to be intimidated by his enemies and to stop the work.  With God’s help and strength, you can overcome opposition and reach your goals.

Father, thank You for Nehemiah’s leadership qualities of prayer and perseverance that serve as a godly example for us to follow.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen. 


Susan Ferguson is a freelance writer who lives in Madison, Mississippi with her husband. She is an accountant by profession and works during the day and writes at night. She is a member of Faithwriters and participates in their daily devotional. She likes to read, travel, and cook for family and friends.