Faith and Family

Yael Eckstein  |  June 6, 2023

Yael Eckstein comforts her children at sunset on Israel shoreline
(Photo: Moshe Bukhman)

“Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” – Nehemiah 4:14

As we celebrate the men in our lives this month, enjoy these devotions looking at the defining characteristics of godliness that we can glean from the biblical men of faith — and how we can pass on those values to our children.

Why do people get involved in politics? For too many people, the answer is that they want the power and prestige that comes from such leadership. Unfortunately, today a career in politics has become synonymous with shady dealings and self-promotion.

But does it really need to be this way? Our communities and our nations do need leadership. Important matters of public policy need to be decided and implemented. Politics is necessary for keeping society functioning properly.

Beyond deciding and implementing policies for the benefit of the populace, political leaders also serve a critical role during a crisis. When times are tough or a nation is under attack, it becomes the task of political leaders to motivate the people to join forces for the common good.

This, more than any other reason, is why it’s so important to have political leaders who are truly worthy of our respect.

Faith and Family

As a senior advisor to the Persian King Artaxerxes, Nehemiah was one of the most important political figures of his day. With the king’s permission, he relocated to Israel to begin rebuilding and fortifying the walls around Jerusalem. When Nehemiah initiated the project of rebuilding the city walls, Israel’s enemies were not pleased and planned an attack.

In Nehemiah’s short speech to the Jews of Jerusalem, we see the ideal motives and behavior of a political leader. He told the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the LORD, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”

With these words, Nehemiah motivated the people to fight. But notice the three points Nehemiah made. First, he told them not to fear the enemy. Next, he reminded them of God’s greatness. Finally, Nehemiah stressed the reason for fighting — to protect their families.

Nehemiah did not speak of national pride or glory in the defeat of the enemy. He spoke of faith and family. This is the biblical example of good political leadership.

As much as politics is a dirty business, we need people of biblical faith to step forward and lead. Nehemiah’s two values — faith and family — must guide those who lead us, and those of us who choose them.

Your Turn:

In a tumultuous world, let’s pray for faithful leadership. And if you are up to the task of leadership for faith and family, remember Nehemiah’s words: “Don’t be afraid.