Nehemiah 5 – Devotional

Nehemiah 5 – Devotional

Posted on 27 Feb 2024

When the king allowed Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem, he also appointed Nehemiah as governor of the area (Judah). In the twelve years that Nehemiah functioned as governor, he did not follow the practice of governors before him in levying a tax on the people for the cost of the governor’s daily food bill. Neither did he use his authority as governor to acquire property or amass wealth for himself. Instead, Nehemiah’s full attention was on helping to build the wall of Jerusalem. And he used his personal funds to feed the officials and visitors involved in overseeing the work.

Nehemiah gives two reasons for the way he acted.

Firstly, Nehemiah said, “I did so out of awe of God.” As governor, Nehemiah was the foremost authority in Judah. However, Nehemiah recognised that he was accountable to God for his task – to help the exiled Jews in Jerusalem to rebuild the wall of the city.  He used his power as governor to fulfill his task and did not reap any available benefits of privilege and riches.

Secondly, Nehemiah explained, “…I did not demand the food allowance of the governor, because the service was too heavy on the people.” Nehemiah was not preoccupied with his ‘entitlement’ as governor. Instead, his interest was in the welfare of the people. For the sake of their wellbeing, Nehemiah was willing to forego even what was due to him as governor.

Nehemiah reminds us that we are accountable to God to redirect the power inherent to any position of authority for the benefit of the community. Our focus ought not to be on our ‘entitlement’ but on the wellbeing of others whom we are called to serve.

Written by Mr. Ajit Hazra


For Personal Reflection or Group Discussion

  1. What are some of the good qualities of Nehemiah’s leadership?

  2. Why and how did Nehemiah deal with the outcry of injustice by his fellow Jews against the Jewish overseers?

  3. How did Nehemiah show his reverence for God?


Preacher: Rev Ho Chee Sin
Series: Band Together
Topic: Responding to Opposition from Within as We Band Together
Verses: Nehemiah 5: 1 – 19

The sermon will be livestreamed at the 10am English Service on Sunday, 3 March 2024.

Read the other devotionals in our Nehemiah sermon series.