Am I zealous . . . or do I just say, “ewe”?

Vol.5, No. 30 – August 9, 2020

Effectively handling the Problems Life BringsNehemiah 3:20

After him Baruch the son of Zabbai repaired another section from the buttress to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. –Nehemiah 3:20

Nehemiah makes many authors and business leaders look like minor leaguers. Some take the time to pat themselves on the back; they are very good, overcome obstacles, develop leaders, are motivational speakers, etc.

In my seminar work to complete my doctorate, I took a leadership week. Some of the days were amusing. One of the scheduled days, while leaving the lecture room, I headed toward the housing area where I was staying for the week. As I crossed the parking lot, I could not help but break out in laughter.

The professor acted as though he was an expert in leadership, but did not exude much practical experience in leadership. He was not at all interested in the contributions of the doctoral students who had many years of experience in developing leaders. What the professor needed was to have some practical experience amid solid biblical training in leadership from the Creator of leaders.

He needed training from Nehemiah; and he needed to set aside his eisegetic approach that clouds solid teaching.

Nehemiah had a commission to rebuild the entire city of Jerusalem, including the walls. One of the great people serving with him, under his leadership, was a pacesetter by the name of Baruch. Baruch is excited about his servant ministry. He is zealous, earnest, and careful as he goes about supervising the construction of the wall near his home. His motivation . . . Almighty God. That is the kind of following leader a leader needs.

His attitude had to be infectious. His burning enthusiasm was catching. Weeks and months could have wasted into years . . . but the wall project is finished in just 52 days. The reason? Folks paid attention to Baruch and let his enthusiasm drive them as well.

Zeal that we approve is called wholehearted consecration. Whenever one is not in sympathy with its objectives, we call that ridiculous exaggeration and fanaticism, the false fire of an overheated mind.

Baruch and his team had zeal. On the other side of the city (the western side), it was another story. A group of local citizens from Tekoa decide to head up to the capital; lend a hand. Verse five tells the story. Their city leaders would not stoop to do any work. They were lazy. They were shirkers. They would not bend to the yoke. They were spectators, not participants in the project. They never took to the Word that sitting on the sidelines is not an option.

Life Application

The leaders of Tekoa are not like Baruch. It was beneath their dignity. They resented having a slave from Persia over them. In addition, their section of the wall was really close to the Sheep, Fish, and Dung Gates! Ewe! Maybe they were victims of smells. J

One thing for sure, they never caught the vision, because they were not looking for it!

An indifferent, unconcerned, reluctant Christian is a contradiction in terms. We are supposed to do whatever we do with an infectious enthusiasm.

How many of us do not catch the vision of our churches, because we fail to look for it?

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. –Romans 12:11-12

Handling effectively the problems and opportunities, that life brings!

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

August 9, 2020

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