I'd Vote for Nehemiah

David Gaunt

"Furthermore, a hundred and fifty Jews and officials ate at my table, as well as those who came to us from the surrounding nations.  Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry were prepared for me, and every ten days an abundant supply of wine of all kinds.  In spite of all this, I never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people.  Remember me with favor, O my God, for all I have done for these people."  Nehemiah 5:17-19

The race for the White House is not only on, but we are already down the road a ways.  There are no shortages of political activities and debates as we approach another Presidential election year.  But how do we know what great leadership looks like when we see it?

Look at Nehemiah.  He was appointed to be the governor of Judah by the foreign reigning king, Artaxerxes.  Nehemiah served his first term in that position for 12 years.  Some of his record as governor made it into God's Holy Word, in Nehemiah chapter five.

As the leader, representing the great conquering king of Persia, Nehemiah was given a big budget on which to dine.  But he didn't spend it.  He knew that taxes for such expenses would have to come from his struggling and impoverished Jewish brothers.  He therefore paid for enough food to feed hundreds of people each day out of his own personal resources.

Nehemiah was in charge, which meant that all the privileges of power were his to enjoy.  But, he had learned a concept that Jesus would later put into words:  "Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all."  Mark 10:43b-44  Nehemiah was like Jesus in his approach to leadership.

Nehemiah 5:19 gives us insight into whose vote Nehemiah was trying to get.  He was concerned about receiving God's favor (blessing).  He used his position of leadership as a way to love and serve God.

As you look around for godly leadership, I enourage you to look in the mirror and consider how you measure up to Nehemiah.  In what ways can you practice Mark 10:43-44 today?  Are you earning God's vote? 

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