Nehemiah’s inspection before action

In the book of Nehemiah, a cupbearer to King Artaxerxes becomes governor of Judah and helps the people rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. His leadership is marked by prayer, relying on God, and wisdom, making the right decision at the right time. After arriving in Jerusalem, Nehemiah decided to inspect the condition on the walls before revealing his true intent. Nehemiah 2:11-12, 17-18 says,

“I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on.”

“Then I said to them, ‘You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.’ I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me. They replied, ‘Let us start rebuilding.’ So they began this good work.”

(New International Version)

Nehemiah was smart enough to inspect the situation in Jerusalem before beginning reconstruction of the city walls. Proverbs 19:2 says, “Desire without knowledge is not good— how much more will hasty feet miss the way!” Such wisdom is necessary when making decisions–gather information before making a move.

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