Correcting back to fundamental principles and values
9 Then Nehemiah, who was the governor , and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, "This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep." For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law.10 Then he said to them, "Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."11 So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved."12 All the people went away to eat, to drink, to send portions and to celebrate a great festival, because they understood the words which had been made known to them.
Neh 8:9-12 (NASB)
O - The context of this scripture is that the wall in Jerusalem had just been restored, and the exiles from Babylon were all coming back, and Ezra the priest and scribe who had been in Babylon with the exiles had returned. Nehemiah, who was no priest had Ezra read the law to the people of Jerusalem, likely recognizing that the exile had brought them far away from the law that Moses had received from God and that was written in the scriptures. When the people first heard the word they began weeping, likely because all of a sudden they realized how far from God's law they have been, and recognized their own sin and separation. In repentance they weeped. What is interesting though is that Ezra said to them go and eat, drink and give offerings because this is a holy day, the "Feast of the Tabernacles". There was another designated day for repentance and the Levites helped them focus on God's law, that this feast was to celebrate, not to repent and mourn. When this was explained by the Levites, the people understood and where obedient to the scriptures.
A - These verses are ripe with fruit; nuggets of wisdom for anyone leading a team back to greatness. Often times as leaders we are called upon to lead change in our organization. The change comes after a dark period in the organization in which the leader is to help lead them out of. Often times that is done through a lot of hard work, disciplined behavior and sacrifice. We see that here with the Israelites as they returned from exile and worked hard to restore the the wall. The working hard part is familiar, but the restoration of fundamental principles is the take away from today's scripture. When leading teams back, there will be all the hard work, rallying, and motivating to be done, this is the first and crucial step, but in the end it will be important to reinforce the fundamentals principles of the organization that underlies all the hard work. For the Israelites it was the laws of the Moses that needed to be restored, for teams it is often the core values, and principles of the organization, as well as the basic operational principles of the team. (for shipyards, it is schedule!).
P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart. Lord I pray that you would reveal to me the fundamental principles I need to correct back to in area's I am leading, including my own life. My hearts desire is to represent you and your principles of grace, love, and restoration; help me to be that type of leader that practices the principles you have embedded in me. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.