I’ve been reading through Nehemiah recently. One of the things I really love about Nehemiah was that he felt a calling on his heart to do something for Jerusalem, he praying about it and then when the opportunity arose, he took advantage of it and went to help orchestrate the rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall.
Well, in reading Nehemiah 9, I was struck but something I see regularly throughout Old Testament writing (and even in some New Testament writing – particularly in Acts). It was Nehemiah bringing up the past. I have found certain instances in the Old Testament where people bring up the past as a way to remember all that God has done for them and move forward. But I have also seen it where people have brought up the past to criticize the Israelites for forgetting all that God has done for them and to turn from their sinful ways.
In chapter 9, it is a little bit of both. He criticized the Israelites for not pursuing God in the midst of God’s faithfulness. And that is what struck out to me ultimately. God is faithful despite all that we do. I know this isn’t an “ah-ha” moment, but there are lots of instances in our lives where we can get so busy or so tied up in the “moment” that we forget how God has been faithful to us in our personal lives and in our ministry. So, as a good exercise for us all, I think it would be best if we TAKE A MINUTE and spend some time focusing on God’s faithfulness to us over the years. What has he done that you may have forgotten about that is a great reminder of his faithfulness to you over the years? Where has he “shown up” that you need reminding of? I have found in my life that when I remember God’s faithfulness from the past may it is just what I need to move forward in the present.
Lamentations 3:22-23 – “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”