Sabbath Selah: Nehemiah 1:5-11

I fell in love with the book of Nehemiah while doing Kelly Minter’s study on it. In the first few chapters she talks about how Nehemiah’s heart broke for his people because of the trouble and disgrace they’d found themselves in. The main cause of the the disgrace was the disrepair of the temple and its surrounding walls in Jerusalem. Nehemiah was moved to leave his very good job with the king in Susa and go back to Jerusalem to lead the people to rebuild. But first he prayed and humbled himself before God confessing not only his sin, but also the sin of the people.

Sometimes we have to mentally step out of our lives of comfort and provision and remember that we are sinners who don’t have a hope without the forgiveness of Jesus. That’s the first thing Nehemiah did.

“O Lord, God of heaven, who keeps his covenant if love with those who live Him and obey His commands, let your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer Your servant is praying before You day and night for Your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward You. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws You gave Your servant Moses.

“Remember the instruction You gave Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen for my Name.’

“They are Your servants and Your people, whom you redeemed by Your great strength and Your mighty hand. O Lord, let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of this Your servant and to the prayer of Your servants who delight in revering Your name. Give Your servant success today by granting him favor with the king.”

When we face a task for which we are praying, it is good and right to remember our proper posture before God: He is a holy God and we are His imperfect, unrighteous servants who are only able to accomplish anything because of our redemption through Christ.

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