6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: This passage gives some principles on how a godly leader can motivate God’s people to do God’s work.

Essentials For The Godly Leader

Nehemiah 2:1-11

Preached Wednesday, December 4, 2002


Ephesians 6:12 - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

We are involved in spiritual warfare. Most of us here tonight either are or will be involved in some kind of leadership role. Of course we have deacons, Sunday School teachers, and other church leaders; but we also have husbands, fathers, mothers, and even children to whom other kids look for guidance and direction. As we keep the battle in mind, we must acknowledge that we need to be better equipped as godly examples and leaders to march on for Jesus Christ.

Last week we saw our leader and hero, Nehemiah, face a situation that stirred him to the core of his being. God’s people and God’s holy city were in a state of reproach since they had fallen into captivity. Nehemiah responded by an emotional and powerful season of fasting and praying. This session lasted over three months. The month, Nisan, mentioned in Nehemiah chapter 2, and corresponding with our April, was the fourth month after Chisleu, when Nehemiah first heard the news about Jerusalem.

Our passage tonight chronicles the events that led to Nehemiah’s unprecedented opportunity to personally effect a change regarding the state of Jerusalem and the remnant of people left in the land.

The events here are a direct result of the prayers offered in chapter 1. God has given Nehemiah some essential that he needs as a godly leader.

I. Godly leaders need God’s divine protection

Nehemiah 2:1-3 - And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. 2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, 3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

A. When facing powerful men – vs 1

1. King of Persia

2. Traditions dictated that court members must always be thrilled to be in the king’s presence

B. When facing your own fears – vs 2

1. The king noticed Nehemiah’s sadness

2. The king confronted Nehemiah’s sadness

C. When boldly stating your burden – vs 3

II. Godly leaders need divine wisdom

A. Wisdom comes from prayer

Nehemiah 2:4 - Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

1. It is promised

James 1:5 - If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

2. Comes from an open and constant communication with God

1 Thessalonians 5:17 - Pray without ceasing.

Proverbs 3:5-6 - 5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Philippians 4:6 - Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

3. This prayer must be a habit

Nehemiah 4:4,9 - 4 Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: 9 Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.

Nehemiah 5:19 - Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.

Nehemiah 6:9,14 - 9 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. 14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.

Nehemiah 13:14 - Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof.

B. The wisdom of honoring a leader

Nehemiah 2:5 - And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.

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