I was reading along as best I could when I stumbled at verse 5.
"The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors." (NIV)
Ugh! There's nothing worse than an uppity person who won't join in the work. Worse yet, a proud peacock who stands around and tells others what to do.
When I read these words, I was reminded of a conversation I'd had with a friend recently. He received a promotion to a supervisory role at work last month. Before he took over the role, he took time to talk to each of the men who would answer to him. He said the same thing to each of them: "I'm here to serve you. Let me know how I can help." That's what godly leadership looks like!
Jesus said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:25-28)
Not so with you! That means no one who claims to follow Jesus can Lord it over people. As a boss, they can give direction, but they should be ready to serve. They ought to put their shoulder to the work and join in what God is doing.
By the way, if you go on to verse 27 in Nehemiah 3, you'll see an amazing thing.
"Next to them, the men of Tekoa repaired another section, from the great projecting tower to the wall of Ophel." (NIV)
While the nobles were sitting around doing nothing, these men of God were hard at work. I want to be like them! Hope you do too!