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Nehemiah 2

February 5, 2006

What impresses me about Nehemiah is his humility and wisdom in this chapter. When Nehemiah arrives in Jerusalem, he must have made an impressive entrance. The king had sent army officers and cavalry with him, so I’m sure everyone was curious as to why he was in Jerusalem. But he doesn’t tell them right away. He tells us that he “had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem” (Nehemiah 2:12). He stays for three days and then–at night–he inspects the Jerusalem walls. He keeps his own counsel and instead makes a full inspection before announcing his purpose. He is thorough. He gathers all the “facts” before making a decision.

If I’d been Nehemiah, I’d have riden into Jerusalem proudly, annouced my plans right away, and have expected an immense display of thankfulness from the people of the city. I’d have done this before I’d inspected the situation and had firm plans. Good thing Nehemiah wasn’t like me, which is probably why God picked him for the task. Instead, Nehemiah is humble, and the way he enters the city exhibits that characteristic in him. That he quietly examines the walls before making any final decisions or plans shows us his wisdom. He is careful in his planning and wants to have first-hand knowledge of the situation before he preceeds any further into his God-given mission.

I can learn so much from Nehemiah’s actions. How many times do I make plans without considering all the “facts” beforehand? How many times do I barge into a situation, proudly thinking I can make it right, when I don’t know the full situation to begin with? Instead of careful fact-finding or prayerful consideration, I charge ahead, blindly. This can apply to how I interact in a conversation have with a friend to making a major life decision. I pray that I’ll remember Nehemiah’s example and seek to apply humility and wisdom in the choices I need to make, small or large.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2006 6:40 pm

    Busted! I do this (making conclusions w/o knowing all the facts) even on a small scale sometimes, with my kids. They’ll be having a conversation and I’ll only catch a third of it. Then I’ll start responding. One of my hubby’s co-workers calls this “jumping into the ice cream without knowing the flavor.” Thanks for the biblical model of doing OTHERwise!

  2. February 7, 2006 1:48 pm

    Great post! Nehemiah is a great book. Being humble is hard for any person I think, some more than others. But, remembering how lowly we really are, and how much we do not deserve what we have recieved from Christ helps keep ourselves in check at times!

  3. February 7, 2006 4:00 pm

    Wow. I would totally have done what you described — proudly announced my plans. This is convicting and a great reminder of how a wise individual proceeds. Thanks, Danielle!–>

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