Archive for February 15th, 2018

You’ve probably heard the saying “there’s nothing new under the sun”. This account took place around 445 B.C., and yet it would still make an ideal case study in a modern book on Project Management! The need for rebuilding touched Nehemiah deeply, so much so that he asked to temporarily leave his well-paid and highly respected position with King Artaxerxes to oversee the works. The King saw how much this meant and granted it.  Could this be our earliest Biblical example of taking a sabbatical?


It’s clear that Nehemiah approached the project with energy and enthusiasm. To ensure sensible management of the works, he split it into smaller, more manageable sections. The whole of chapter 3 is dedicated to describing how this was done. As you read it, it is worthwhile looking at a plan of the walls. Nehemiah takes us on a tour around the walls, describing each gate, tower and section of wall and who was rebuilding it. As well as making the works easier to manage, this also introduced a degree of personal pride and accountability for each section. Everyone knew what their section was.


He also ensured that groups were working on areas where they had a personal interest to succeed. For example, Eliashib and his fellow priests were given the job of repairing the Sheep Gate. This is where sheep were brought in to the city for sacrifices. They therefore had a personal interest in this, and it emphasised the importance of worship. Elsewhere, people are put to work on the section of wall in front of their own home. They had a vested interest in doing the job, and doing it well.


As with any large project, there are people who don’t want to be a part of it. It looks like the nobles of Tekoa thought that they were above it all (v.5). However, others were inspired by the project and wanted to be part of it, as Nehemiah refers to work being undertaken by priests and people from other districts and from the surrounding region (v.22).


We’re all involved in projects, whether leading them or as part of the team – at home, work, in church or elsewhere. I’m sure you recognise much of what Nehemiah was doing. It’s important, though, to remember that his calling and subsequent drive came from God, and this sustains him through tougher times ahead, as we shall see!










Spend some time praying over projects which you’re involved in. What called you to them in the first place? Ask for God’s blessing on them, and for him to give you wisdom and clarity as you work your way through.

February 2018
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