If you've ever read
the history of the Israelites,
then you certainly have ridden
the rollercoaster of faith.
Because they had many highs and lows,
drawing close and trusting God,
then rebelling to live their own
stubborn and hard-hearted ways.
But God always remained the same.
He was the stable and sturdy track,
that kept the steel car propelled, even to
return to their promised land.
Now on the twenty-fourth day
of this month the children of Israel
were assembled with fasting,
in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads.
Then those of Israelite lineage separated
themselves from all foreigners;
and they stood and confessed their sins
and the iniquities of their fathers.
Nehemiah 9:1-2 NKJV
And the Levites stood to read
the historical account of how God
led them through the hills and valleys
of faithfulness when they did and didn't
follow closely the ways of the Lord.
Until 38 verses later,
they promise to follow all God's law
in this manner...
“And because of all this,
We make a sure covenant and write it;
Our leaders, our Levites, and
our priests seal it.”
So why on earth
did they have to confess the sins
of the faithless people
who lived so long ago before them?
I mean, these people didn't
commit the sins that led to
their captivity to Babylon.
It was their fathers,
and the fathers before them
Why should they have to confess
for the sins of people long ago?
Why should they even have to endure
the lengthy and depressing history lesson?
Surely, this is a hard thing to conceive.
But if only we will take the time
to read through, to study and listen...
we would find that from God's perspective
these people of old, did nothing more
that live in the cyclical pattern of sin.
For the same pattern repeated itself
over, and over, and over... again.
None of them invented anything new.
It's the same rebellion of the human heart
wanting to have our own way.
So these new residents of Jerusalem
wisely agreed, that if they would accept
the fact that they too are capable
of each and every sin
that their forefathers committed...
and if they listened intently to the
history lesson laid out chronologically,
then maybe they could change the pattern.
Just maybe they could break the cycle
and start a fresh habit of obedience to God.
And what an honest and interesting
concept of the heart.
Rather than judging the sins of others,
pointing a finger and saying...
that could never,
that would never,
that will never happen to me.
I'm not capable of THAT sin.
Maybe we should consider
the cycle of the human heart.
Simply because we currently don't see
ourselves desperate enough
to commit that sin, does not mean
that one day, we won't be.
Never, say... never!
I've decided to simply admit
that I am capable of any sin
which any human can commit.
Not that I WANT to have a sinful heart.
But rather, that I want to AVOID
a judgmental spirit toward others.
So along with these new citizens
of Jerusalem, I too, confess my sins
of their forefathers...
And because of all this,
We make a sure covenant and write it.
So let me commit to the Lord...
Stand up and bless the Lord your God
Forever and ever!
“Blessed be Your glorious name,
Which is exalted above all blessing and praise!
You alone are the Lord;
You have made heaven,
The heaven of heavens, with all their host,
The earth and everything on it,
The seas and all that is in them,
And You preserve them all.
The host of heaven worships You.
Word of God
train me today...
To live an honest life,
with an honest heart
to serve You always.
To not judge others,
nor their motives,
without first knowing
I am capable of the same.
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