the shrew leader

Today’s faithful daily read (coming to you a little late this morning) is from Nehemiah 2 and 1 Cor 1:1-9 

We turn now from Ezra’s priestly perspective of rebuilding faithfulness in a people, to Nehemiah’s account of rebuilding leadership, a city and a temple.

See God’s hand setting it all up as Nehemiah is given unique access to the king…

See how his integrity and trustworthiness has earned the king & queen’s trust…

Listen to how he commits his audacious plan to God in prayer in the moment…

Gasp at his nerve to ask for royal funds to complete his task…

Notice his shrewd navigation of the Trans-Euphrates politics…

Observe how he considers the road-blocks and gets his paperwork in order…

Notice how back in Jerusalem he holds his cards carefully to his chest…

Learn from Nehemiah as he does his homework carefully, taking stock of the state of the walls (and the mood of the people) before he draws the exiles into his vision…

Hear Nehemiah’s words as he decisively takes charge. “I answered them by saying, ‘The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it”

Nehemiah is a shrewd leader. He reminds me of Thomas Cranmer and how God used him to deliver the English reformation safely through the tumultuous reigns of King Henry VIII and ‘bloody’ Mary. Cranmer too had dependance on God, integrity and the trust of the king. God raises up shrew and bold leaders for decisive times of reformation. Great and godly leaders understand dependance on God, the importance of character and integrity, the value of trust, and the weight of wisdom.

Over in Corinth, Paul is about to express a different kind of leadership. He has a big job to do as well. A church has gone astray. He begins by thanking God for the Corinthian church and acknowledges God’s real work in their lives…the fellowship they share… the gifts they express…

However, while Paul speaks of the evidence of diverse gifts and knowledge, he is about to expose some serious flaws. We will observe how he does this by grounding everything he says in the ‘authority’ and ‘weakness of the cross’. The cross of Jesus defines how Christian community is to be lived out…not impressive gifts, fancy oratory or persuasive power. Watch how this leader decisively takes a people on a journey into reformation.

Have a great day on this sparkling Illawarra (or even Armidale*) morning that God has made, and offer up the Nehemiah arrow prayers in all the spontaneous moments God has planned for you in advance 😉

Geoff

*remember to pray for Peter & Elizabeth as they serve as locum in the Armidale cathedral.

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One thought on “the shrew leader

  1. Thank you Geoff. In the Corinthian church there was such a cross section of believers from all walks of life. Wealthy merchants, common labourers, former temple prostitutes and middle class families. Sounds a bit like FAC!! Because of such a diverse range of people Paul took the time to address the importance of unity amongst believers. Spiritual unity and Christlike character amongst Gods family. No matter what we were before coming to Christ the cross is the great leveller. May we have ears to hear the Holy Spirit thru 1 Corinthians and hearts that are open to change where needed.

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