Why should women read Nehemiah?
Thousands of insecure exiles were returning to the promised land. Extensive repairs were done on Jerusalem’s demolished walls. During 52 days of constant labor, dozens of enemies were spreading insults, rumors, and death threats. A few men were attempting to cause dissension among God’s people. In the midst of these challenging conditions, Nehemiah was one leader with a single vision and one great God, leading the nation of Israel to rebuild the city walls. This lone leader is a picture of the character and faith that every woman of God must have if she is to make an effective and enduring impact in His kingdom.
Biblical Womanhood: A Woman’s Attitude
Nehemiah discovered three important truths about one’s attitude in managing opposition. First, he must have known that attitude is a choice. He determined that no matter what the circumstances were, he had control over his own attitude. Second, his attitude determined his actions. When his intentions were questioned by Sanballat (chap. 2) and various intimidation tactics were used (chap. 6), Nehemiah responded by reaffirming his faith in God rather than become defensive. Despite his struggles with disappointment and even despair, Nehemiah remained devoted to the task and refused to allow the opposition to distract him from the work God had given him to do, often not even answering his critics. Finally, Nehemiah demonstrates that people will mirror the attitude of their leader. The way Nehemiah reacted to the threats and insults of his enemies had a huge impact on the people whom he was leading in the rebuilding of the wall. He could either inspire confidence or elicit cowardice from the people. He could show them compassion or cruelty. Nehemiah utilized the tool of a positive and resourceful attitude to inspire the people of Jerusalem and quieten their enemies.