OT 2012: Neh 12-13

Today we finished up the book of Nehemiah.  If you’ve been reading through with us it should be obvious that Nehemiah provides some of the best lessons in all the Bible on Godly leadership.

Today we read about Nehemiah’s zeal for God’s law.  In chapter 13 we read about how Jerusalem was being used as a sort of business hub.  This isn’t necessarily a problem… however the people were conducting much business and doing much work on the Sabbath, when God’s law had expressly forbid them to do so.

Nehemiah is a great picture of boldness for God’s laws.  In verse 19 we read that Nehemiah commanded that the gates to the city be shut on a Friday night so no one could go in or out the next day (the Sabbath).  The next morning people started lining up at the gates, and becoming upset because they could not get in to conduct their business.  Nehemiah goes out and confronts them and tells them if they don’t go home, he’ll “lay hands on them.”

Here we see a picture of boldness for God.  Nehemiah did not value popularity or comfort over the glory of God and the people’s obedience to his laws.  He was willing to risk his reputation and popularity for God’s glory.  Are we?  Do we fear God more than we fear men?  Would we be willing to do something that would make us very unpopular in the eyes of our peers if it meant the glory of God would be increased?  Remember, Jesus said the world hated him, and therefore we will be hated as well.