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May 10, 2019

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Reading along with us in Nehemiah? Here’s today’s reading:

Nehemiah 9 (ESV)

Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads. And the Israelites[a] separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.....Continue Reading

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This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. 6 “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.

  2. Nehemiah 9:3 (ESV)
     And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for a quarter of the day; for another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped the LORD their God.

    I think one quarter of the day is equal to three hours if they are just talking about daylight hours, otherwise it is six hours! But even at three hours, that is a long time to be standing and engaged in the reading of God’s word. And they spent another three hours in confession of their sins and the sins of their fathers.

    I love Nehemiah’s prayer.
    Nehemiah 9:8 (ESV)
     … And you have kept your promise, for you are righteous.
    Compare this to Nehemiah 9:16, 26, 28, 30, 33 (ESV)
     “But they and our fathers acted presumptuously and stiffened their neck and did not obey your commandments.

    God keeps his promises but we do not. Even in our faithlessness and sin, it is always God that is seeking reconciliation.

  3. 31Nevertheless, in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.
    32″Now, therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to you that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day. 33Yet you have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly.

  4. I’d like to sit down and read through the names with someone. It bothers me when I know I am reading things wrong, and I am definitely not reading the names of the returned exiles correctly. I am writing this a chapter ahead but don’t want to lose this thought. Plan to get to Nehemiah 14 with everyone else for tomorrow.

  5. How important confession is for God’s people and what a model for that that we have here. Even as believers we do our share of sinning and falling short, but God makes a way through confession for us to get back into His will. We are always connected to Him in relationship through the righteousness of Christ, but sin separates us from His power, will and work in and through our lives. Confession is intended to reestablish us in those things and be the impetus for repentance that keeps us going in the right direction. As 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” But look at the model of confession here, Nehemiah gets historical and remembers the pattern of sin committed by his people particularly in the context of God’s goodness. So it is not just confessing the wrong done but recognizing the good that was forsaken. It is not only Nehemiah confessing his own sin but also the sin of His people. I wonder what patterns of sin are in our history that we are not responsible for but may be an influence in what trips us up today. Nehemiah recognizes that and brings it before God. He is internalizing the nature of disobedience and by doing that establishing a deeper commitment not to follow in the same way. And how right it is after confessing in this way for the people to sign an agreement to follow God. See confession is intended to lead to repentance and not become an excuse to just sin again.

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