A God of Forgiveness

based on the LGG Study, From Broken to Restored / w4d4

Scripture: Nehemiah 9:5-37 / SOAP: Nehemiah 9:16-17

“But they—our ancestors—behaved presumptuously; they rebelled and did not obey your commandments. 17 They refused to obey and did not recall your miracles that you had performed among them. Instead, they rebelled and appointed a leader to return to their bondage in Egypt. But you are a God of forgiveness, merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and unfailing in your loyal love. You did not abandon them,

Nehemiah 9:16-17

Today’s journey is spent solely in the ninth chapter of Nehemiah. It opens with a beautiful call to worship. Perhaps you’ve read it before or have been in a church service where it was read aloud – it is one of my favorites and it merits a bit of our attention. While it is not the centerpiece of the chapter verses five through fifteen recount miraculous and compassionate acts of our God. God’s works are extolled. He is lifted high with glory and honor for all He did for His people.

Stand up and praise the Lord your God who is from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and all that is on it the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything and the multitudes of Heaven worship You.

Nehemiah 9:5-6

However, verse sixteen brings an abrupt halt to the concentrated worship inducing praises of God and what He had done. The remainder of the passage then goes back and forth from focusing on Israelites rebellious acts despite what God had done for them and God’s goodness. It points out habitual rebellion … their calls of destress … and God’s abundant compassion … that is until He gave them over to their enemies. The passage highlights conviction and confession and having to deal with the consequences of sin. It paints the picture of how God’s people, despite God’s goodness, patience, and compassion toward them, became slaves in the land He had graciously given them to enjoy.

Over and Over it was the Same Pattern

But they rebelled … they refused to obey … BUT GOD did not abandon them … they did atrocious things … BUT GOD showed compassion, gave His Spirit, provided food and clothes … But they rebelled … BUT GOD heard and delivered them … but they turned again and God gave them over to their enemies …

Excerpts from Nehemiah 9

The back and forth rebellion and atrocities of the people versus God’s compassion and forgiveness are bitter-sweet pictures but good lessons and reminders for us today. May we learn from them and strive to be grateful and faithful people of our God! May continually remember that He is forgiving, merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and unfailing in loyal love. The One who has not abandoned us but embraced us through the blood of Jesus Christ, His only begotten son.

Making It Personal – Reflection

When was the last time you were so convicted by the Holy Spirit that it led you to worship? Have you ever experienced this?

Going Further

What the Bible says about Rebellion

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