11 So I arrived in Jerusalem. Three days later, 12 I slipped out during the night, taking only a few others with me. I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem. We took no pack animals with us except the donkey I was riding. 13 After dark I went out through the Valley Gate, past the Jackal’s Well,[a] and over to the Dung Gate to inspect the broken walls and burned gates.14 Then I went to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but my donkey couldn’t get through the rubble. 15 So, though it was still dark, I went up the Kidron Valley[b]instead, inspecting the wall before I turned back and entered again at the Valley Gate. 16 The city officials did not know I had been out there or what I was doing, for I had not yet said anything to anyone about my plans. I had not yet spoken to the Jewish leaders—the priests, the nobles, the officials, or anyone else in the administration. 17 But now I said to them, “You know very well what trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire. Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!” 18 Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me, and about my conversation with the king.They replied at once, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work.19 But when Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard of our plan, they scoffed contemptuously. “What are you doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” they asked.20 I replied, “The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall. But you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.”
It’s here that after the task of resting we see Nehemiah:
- Assess the situation – 12-16
After getting recharged, Nehemiah went out to assess the need. He personally went to assess the situation, instead of sending somebody else because he understood that in order to lead the project, he would need a firsthand picture of what needed to be done. Leaders need to know when to delegate and when to dive in. It would have been tempting to delegate this difficult and dangerous mission to somebody else but good leaders don’t delegate just because things are hard. Nehemiah risked his life to learn about the real reality because before he could implement his plan, he needed a clear picture of the scale of the problem. So, Nehemiah set out on the difficult and dangerous job of assessing the condition of Jerusalem specifically its walls. Men when was the last time you inspected the wall surrounding the heart of your home? What shape is your wall in, is it secure or smashed? As the leader of your home you need to regularly ride around the wall taking the time to inspect its condition, so you know what needs attention and were to put your energy. Sadly, because many of us are neglecting our walls they have fallen into disrepair, making it easy for the enemy to come in and not only harass our families but hurt them. Nehemiah discovered that the rubble was so bad he couldn’t even ride his donkey through parts of it. Have you gone out into the world lately have seen how broken it is or are you wearing blinders? There are 20 million people enslaved by human trafficking, it’s a $32 Billion a year industry, that’s $7 billion dollars more than all the McDonalds made last year. If we are not careful we will insulate ourselves with ignorance from the carnage that is killing our culture because we care more about our comfort than the call of Christ. Are you motivated more by comfort or compassion? Nehemiah step away from his comfortable position to confront the problem. He didn’t rely on what everyone else had to say, he didn’t send others out to assess the situation, he stepped out and risked his life to assess the situation personally. Today we are leaving leadership to others, we are defaulting leadership because it’s difficult and even dangerous. Nehemiah wasn’t just willing to inspect the wall he was wise in his inspection of the wall. He didn’t say anything to anyone until the time was right. The careless leakage of information could have brought the work to an end even before it started. Have you assessed your wall? Because if you are going to lead in your home, church and community you better understand not only where you are going but where you are currently at. When was the last time you took time to assess not only where you are at but where you are going? What are the walls that need attention in your life?