Page 10 - October 2020 - Truth & Tidings
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Prosperity of God’s People            grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your
          Godly leaders care about those things   strength” (8:10).
        that are precious to God. Nothing is more   The depth of overseers’ care will be
        precious to God than His people. Paul   revealed in coming months as we emerge
        commended Timothy, “I have no one like   from lockdown. Ministering to the varied
        him, who will be genuinely concerned for   and complex needs of God’s people,
        your welfare” (Php 2:20).  Nehemiah’s care   some of whom feel weak and vulnerable,
        is evident from the opening of the book   overseers should consider that the reality
        as he asked “concerning the Jews who   of their care for God’s assembly will be
        escaped … and concerning Jerusalem”   evaluated by the sincerity of their care
        (1:2). The city was important but was   for His people.
        secondary to the people who lived there.   Fidelity to God’s Word
        Almost one fifth of the book comprises
        names, and although we are tempted to   Paul wrote about the importance of
        skip such lists, they bear witness to the   overseers being able (1Ti 3:2) and ready to
        value God places upon each individual.    teach “what accords with sound doctrine”
          Nehemiah cared  deeply, particularly   (Titus 2:1). Nehemiah understood this –
        for the vulnerable and oppressed (5:1-  the strength of the work for God would
        5), and as governor he ensured that   be its foundation upon the Word of God.
        everyone was represented before the king   Never underestimate the influence of a
        himself (11:24). He also cared widely, not   godly leader’s care. Within one week of
        discriminating on the basis of gender,   completing the wall (6:15), the erstwhile
        ethnicity, socio-economic status or other   disparate and discouraged population
        grounds,  and  with  due  regard  to  the   assembled with expectation to hear the
        people’s varied needs.                Word of God (8:1). Surely Nehemiah was
          While repairing gates and building   encouraged by the careful attention with
        walls, he prioritized safety, appreciating   which they listened (8:3). Impressed by
        that it would contribute positively to the   how God had ensured their security and
        people’s emotional well-being: “Come,   enjoying newfound liberty (5:1-13), they
        let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that   were eager to learn more.
        we may no longer suffer derision” (2:17).   The wooden tower built for the occasion
        He knew that while the reading of the   was not just for acoustic effect. By elevating
        law would prompt painful spiritual    the Book, the people gave expression to
        adjustment, in order to be effective such   their subjection, bowing and worshipping
        adjustment must emanate from joyful,   with their faces to the ground as it was
        worshipping hearts: “Go …. Eat the fat   read (8:6).
        and drink sweet wine …. And do not be   The responsibility of handling the
        ¹ All Scripture quotations in this article are from   Word of God was taken seriously.
        the ESV.                              Demonstrating unity with Ezra, 13 key

        298 TRUTH kTidings   October  2020
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