Nehemiah reminds God who He is. He calls Him the great, the mighty, the awesome God who keeps covenant and mercy. That mercy is the word chesed, so it’s steadfast love, or lovingkindness. It’s His great loving, forgiving goodness that He shows His children.
Nehemiah remembers what God had given them, the rich land of abundance where they had their fill.
They had the choice of serving God or other gods. There is no such thing as neutrality in worship. We always worship and serve something.
They chose to serve other gods. They made the choice themselves not to serve God, their true king.
So they end up serving other gods and other kings. They are slaves.
We are slaves to God, but it’s a good thing because all of God’s work is for the benefit of His children. He’s an unselfish master, completely unselfish.
Do you see yourself in the story of Israel?
We are God’s children. Their story is our story. Their warnings are our warnings. They complained and are killed. They challenge God’s choice of leaders and are killed. They worship other gods and are killed or taken captive (oppressed). After many years of God being patient with them and waiting, He finally acts with justice and removes them from the land of promise.
Do you hear the warnings?
Sin is bad. It separates us from God. When we choose sin, we’re choosing to separate ourselves from God. He is there for us to cry out in repentance and return to. He is ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, abundant in kindness. That’s our God.
But when we choose to continue in our sin, taking for granted the fullness of the promised land He’s brought us into, He will eventually turn us over to our desires. They become addictions and such things. They oppress us. We can cry out and be brought back through repentance.
Don’t choose years of hardship and oppression, of time being captive in a foreign land away from the fullness of the promises of God.