MONDAY May 22, 2017
Having the Fear of God
Moreover, from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year until the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes, twelve years, neither I nor my brothers ate the governor’s provisions. But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people, and took from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God. - Nehemiah 5:14-15
Notice the key to Nehemiah’s successful leadership; he feared the Lord. Under the service of the King Artaxerxes, he was an appointed governor over the people in Judah. During his twelve years of being in power, he never took advantage of the people. Nehemiah trusted the Lord for his provision. He never looked to the people to meet his needs.
Yet, the previous governors had selfishly taken provisions away from the people and used their money to make their lives more comfortable. They had even given their servants authority over the people. The governors were corrupt. Nehemiah, as a leader, did not do what everyone else was doing. He did not act corruptly or compromise his integrity. Why? Nehemiah knew that eventually he would have to stand before God. Then he would have to give an account of his life for everything God had given to him. The fear of the Lord in his life made him a righteous leader.
The fear of the Lord is a key factor in our lives as Christians; we must not be like everyone else. Just because everyone else is acting corruptly does not mean that we should follow along. We must have the fear of the Lord in our lives and resist compromising our integrity. Understand that one day we must give an account for our actions and words. As a leader we should not make ourselves comfortable by living off God’s people. We are called to serve God’s people and minister to them.
Do not trust in oppression, Nor vainly hope in robbery;
If riches increase, Do not set your heart on them.
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