And next to them the Tekoites repaired, but their nobles would not stoop to serve their Lord… Nehemiah 3:5
During the time of Nehemiah, the Persian Empire had reached its greatest extent, engulfing nearly the entire Near East. In 539 b.c. the Persians under Cyrus the Great defeated the Babylonians and absorbed the lands of Israel and Judah (known as Beyond the River) into his empire. The next year he allowed the people of Judah (now called Jews) to return home and rebuild the temple of the Lord. Several waves of returning Jews continued to resettle in Judea, and
Nehemiah was granted permission to rebuild Jerusalem’s ruined walls around 445 b.c.
Little by little, God began renewing his people in the land, to carry out what he promised to Abraham. God in his mercy raised up Ezra the priest and teacher, and Nehemiah the governor, to lead his people in the hard work that this renewal requires. Nehemiah will encounter some serious opposition to the work, but before the rebuilding of the city wall became a full-fledged conflict between outside enemies, one group among his own people stood in opposition to the work and the leadership of Nehemiah.
The Nobles of Tekoites
While everyone was paying their fair share to the project of rebuilding the wall, there was a group of people who categorically refused to pay their fair share. The bible say, they refused to “serve their Lord.” The leading people of Tekoa, not far south of Jerusalem, resented Nehemiah’s leadership. They wouldn’t honor, respect or even recognize his leadership.
The question is why?
Why wouldn’t they want to share in joy of community development? Why wouldn’t they want to receive the blessings that God would pour out on their lives because of their help? The answer is pride.
Pride can cause people to do the most ridiculous things in life.
We do it all the time, in politics, in church, on the job and at home. For one reason or the other we refuse to recognize the leadership of our president, boss, pastor, husband or small group leader. Maybe these nobles thought they had a better plan, that they could run the show more effectively. Maybe they felt like they should have been the ones in charge. Maybe they felt like Nehemiah wasn’t qualified, educated enough. Maybe the problem here is insubordination or they just simply didn’t like him.Whatever their reason, you can be sure they later regretted it, because they stand in infamy as the only people mentioned in this chapter who did not join in the work.
This is how people usually miss out on what God is doing, because they don’t like who God is using.
Usually, when this happens, the only thing they feel they should do is to remove themselves from under that leadership (for clarity sake, I am not talking about abusive, ungodly leadership).I’m convinced that, the best place for you to be is under a leadership that you really don’t like, because the problem is not really the leader in charge, it is you. If you really want to grow in christian character and enjoy the blessings that God usually pours out through the leaders he puts over you, you should stay under that leadership and change your attitude. Here are 7 questions you should ask yourself:
Is it possible to hear from God through a leader I won’t listen to?
It is impossible. Unless you change your attitude. Don’t leave, change your attitudeI hear christians say things like, “I am not being fed in this church, the pastor is not preaching the word.” No friend, if you would just change you attitude toward your pastor, you will hear God speak.
Is it possible to love God and yet not love the leader he puts over you?
It is impossible. Unless you change your attitude.If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
Is it possible to see the vision of God through the leader I won’t follow?
It is impossible. Unless you change your attitudeWhat’s motivating you? Do you have an ego problem? Is it insubordination? With these things out-of-the-way, you will better be able to see where God is leading through the leader he put over you.
Is it possible to do ministry with a leader I won’t work with?
It is impossible, Unless you change your attitude.I think we can work with anyone if we recognize that it is not about us, not about them, but about what God wants to do. But accepting the one God puts in charge is key to moving forward.
Is it possible to serve God with a leader I won’t serve?
It is impossible. Unless you change your attitudeAs followers of Christ we should never reach that place where we cannot serve others. If we ever do, we are in serious trouble and in need of some serious attitude adjustment.
What good is my giving to God if I can’t give to the leader he puts over me?
Your giving to God is not good at all. Unless you change your attitudeIf anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
Is it possible to honor God with the leader I won’t honor?
It is impossible. Unless you change your attitudeHonor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. We must honor the ones God puts over us by the way we speak to and about them. It is shameful to hear to the way christians speak about their leaders in the public square.
Great post! I noticed that every ‘possible’ question centered around how others affected, ‘i’ or ‘me’ or ‘my’ and ‘you’ but all the answers have, ‘we’ or ‘our’ or ‘brothers’. Problems seem to always start when ‘I’ quit looking around and start focusing on ‘me’!
One of the first books we had to read in our training class was “Under cover” by John Bevere. It’s one of the best books I’ve read on the subject.