A good American football player needs determination to overcome opposition that will come from all sides. He has to deftly avoid opponent team players or skilfully push them away, and fight his way forward to score a touchdown.
About Robert Solomon
Robert M. Solomon served as Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000-2012. He now has an active itinerant ministry of preaching and teaching in Singapore and abroad. He is the author of 19 books, including The Race, The Conscience, The Sermon of Jesus and Faithful to the End.
Entries by Robert Solomon
The congregation is like a body. Any deformity or malfunction must be set right and not left to grow more serious. Nehemiah is keen to restore the spiritual health of the community.
One of the managers in a Dilbert comic strip asks: ″Who’s up for some leadership?″ He then continues, ″Watch me define behaviour, align your goals with company objectives, prioritize respect, deal directly with conflict, maintain a positive attitude, and pretend to care.″
A good general who is leading his troops against a strong enemy would know that winning the battle is not just a matter of weapons and military tactics; it also depends on the morale and unity of the men.
In today’s reading, we delve further into the details of Nehemiah’s defensive measures. Realising that there is a spiritual battle going on, Nehemiah takes measures to ensure the work on the wall can proceed uninterrupted.
A person may be able to ignore insulting words, but the threat of violence is an entirely different matter. Furious that the work on the wall is progressing well, the enemies of the Jews-Arabs, Ammonites and Ashdodites-plot to ″come and fight against Jerusalem″ (Nehemiah 4:7-8).
When we are insulted and mocked, what should we do? Nehemiah could have tried to engage his opponents and debate with them as to why the building project would succeed. He knows well, however, that this would be a waste of time.
When we carry out God’s work, we can expect difficulties and discouragement; Satan is never happy when God is obeyed and His work done.
The poor attitude of the Tekoan nobles is not mentioned again. However, today’s reading emphasises Nehemiah’s great leadership abilities to mobilise all to get involved in the work.
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