Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!
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Over our Nehemiah study, where we’ve chatted about overcoming people approval, the importance of gates , what do do when attacked, when you are weary on the wall, getting back to work on the wall, the enemy within and how to confront him. Nehemiah also walked us through how he led/governed (with the help of the Lord) the people, versus bossing/managing the people, which motivated them finish the work triumphantly!
While this project is complete, there are some other very important learning points in the remaining chapters of Nehemiah! For example, gatekeeping from our chapter 7 lesson, preparing to apply God’s word from our chapter 8 lesson) and why we should be mindful of a condition called “stiff neck” in chapter 9. Let’s finish up Nehemiah 9 as the Israelites continue recalling what God has done and how they reacted.
So when we last left off, the hardened-necked people were not heeding God’s commandments, refused to obey and forgot what the Lord had done for them (verse 17).
(Love these turning points)
The people said that God is ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and did not forsake them–even when they made a golden calf to worship taking the place of God (See Exodus 32).
While the Israelites turned their backs on God, and forgot what He did, God’s manifold (many and various) mercies continued in this way: (Nehemiah 9:18-25)
God did not leave them to rot in the wilderness
He never took away the cloud or pillar of fire
He never failed to instruct them
He did not withhold manna or water
He kept them in the wilderness for four decades
He made sure they lacked nothing
Their clothes stayed fresh and feet did not swell
AND ON TOP OF THAT…
God STILL gave the people kingdoms, nations and land..
Their children multiplied like stars of heaven—the Israelites were brought into the land, JUST like God promised.
They overtook cities, got houses filled with goods, water wells, vineyards, olive yards, fruit trees in abundance.
They ate, were filled, got fat and delighted in God’s goodness.
God’s manifold mercies in effect.
IN spite of all God had done, verse 26 says they were disobedient, rebellious, cast the law behind their backs and KILLED the prophets who warned them to come back to God.
BCU Fam, as we apply this part of the lesson to ourselves, as we recall the many things God did for us—the provision, protection, healing, comforting, saving us, and so on, how many times were we disobedient to what God said? Rebellious to the Word of God and cast it away in favor of doing what we felt was right or wanted to do? How many prophets (your pastor, that mother at church, friend, even a stranger) did we kill with a look, silence or even our words, when they warned us about going against what God said?
God’s manifold mercies in effect.
Now, God will keep His Word no matter what we do or don’t. Know this—there is a penalty for disobedience. God allowed the Israelites, to be delivered into the hand of the enemy, due to their choice to stiffen their necks and disobey. When they cried out for relief, in God’s manifold mercies, He delivered them.
After the deliverance, (verses 27-29), the Israelites straightened up for awhile, BUT they got evil again and God LEFT them to the enemy to have dominion over them. Yet when they cried out, God delivered them– many times— according to His manifold mercies.
The Lord convicted the Israelites in wanting them to listen, but they did not. Hardened necks made a comeback, they wouldn’t listen or heed God, no matter who told them they were wrong, and time and time again, the people were still being delivered in the hands of the enemy because of their choice to sin..
Verse 30 says God was still merciful—He did not consume or forsake them because He is a gracious and merciful God.
And while the Israelites got to keep what God gave them (verses 32-37), they were servants in their OWN land, had to pay “tribute” (excessive tax) to the kings, and those who ruled over the Israelites had dominion over their bodies and cattle, putting the Israelites in great distress. Verse 38 concludes where the Israelites FINALLY get what happened and now need to covenant to do what God says. My Lord!
BCU Fam, we are not unlike the Israelites at all. As God, in His manifold mercy continues to bless and warn us, we often will continue doing what we like, not realizing or caring that there is a cumulative cost to actions that go against what God said. And to that end, here will be a pay day coming.
Sin always keeps it’s price hidden until it’s time to pay. And that payment can cost you in time, money, missed opportunities and even your life. Your eternal life! Rather than take God’s mercy for granted, let’s take advantage of the mercy God has extended to us TODAY and covenant with Him, His help to stop willfully and continually going against His Word. NOTHING on Earth should keep us from Heaven. Amen? Amen!
This concludes Nehemiah 9, BCU Fam! We’ll plan to wrap up the remaining chapters the next time we’re together. In the meantime, as you reflect on God’s mercy, what you took away from this post, so please leave a comment in the designated section below.
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Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!