The Law of Navigation Part 4

Nehemiah’s Navigation

Before the building process could begin, Nehemiah spent time getting himself and his people ready.

  1. He identified with the problem (1:2-4). 
    Nehemiah first inquired about the status of the Jews and the wall around Jerusalem. When he heard that the wall remained a rubble and that God’s name was being mocked, he wept. The people’s problem became his problem and his burden to bear.
  2. He spent time in prayer (1:4-11). 
    Almost immediately Nehemiah went to his knees to pray. He confessed his wrongdoing and that of the people and he interceded for them. Then he asked for God’s favor. No doubt he got the vision and plan to rebuild the wall during his time of connection with God.
  3. He approached the key influencers (2:1-9). 
    In any leadership endeavor, key people of influence can make or break the whole undertaking. In this case, it was the Persian king Artaxerxes. From him, Nehemiah received not only permission to rebuild the wall, but also resources and support. Nehemiah undoubtedly also selected and approached other key people to take with him.
  4. He assessed the situation (2:11-15). 
    When he finally arrived in Jerusalem, Nehemiah surveyed firsthand the challenge facing him. He did it quietly, at night, personally assessing the damage and planning the project without interference or unwanted advice.
  5. He met with the people and cast the vision (2:16, 17). 
    We don’t know exactly how Nehemiah approached the people or with whom he met first, but we do know he spoke with the Jews, the priest, the nobles, the officials, and the people who did the work. He described his vision for rebuilding the wall and the spiritual ramifications of the project.
  6. He encouraged them with past successes (2:18). 
    With a task as daunting as the rebuilding of the wall, Nehemiah knew he needed to encourage the people. So he “told them of the hand of [his] God which had been good upon [him], and also the Kings words that he had spoken to [him]” (2:18).
  7. He received buy-in from the people (2:18). 
    Two short sentences record the turning point for the whole rebuilding process: “So they said, ‘Let us rise up and build.’ Then they set their hands to this good work” (2:18). The people had bought in. They dedicated themselves to Nehemiah’s leadership and vision.
  8. He organized the people and got them working (3:1-32). 
    The people didn’t work haphazardly. Nehemiah organized them by family and set them to work according to planned priorities, beginning with the city’s gates.

Nehemiah put a lot of work into realizing his vision. Without his great leadership and careful planning, the wall may never have been built.

Join me next time for The Law of Navigation Part 5.