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Nehemiah: Day 12

I see Christ

by

Today's Text: Nehemiah 9:1-37, Romans 8:3-4

Text: Nehemiah 9:1-37, Romans 8:3-4

Y’all want to do something different today? (I’m just going to assume you’re saying yes here…) Let’s turn to a fresh page of journal paper and write the last part of verse 33 across the top.

“For you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly.” (Nehemiah 9:33b, ESV)

Under that, divide your page into two columns. In the column on the left, write the ways in which God dealt faithfully with the Israelites as described in chapter nine. In the right column, list the ways the Israelites acted wickedly in response.

I’ll give you a moment.

Finished? Okay, take a look at your list. What do you see?

I don’t need it to show you how ungrateful the Israelites were. I don’t even need this list to make you see yourself in their unfaithfulness today.

I want you to see God on this page.

“But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.” (9:17b, ESV)

Do you see Him there on the page – lavishing good gifts, provisions, laws of protection, even great rescues and wondrous signs on His people, even in their wickedness?

You know who else I see there on that page? I see Christ. Or at least I see His shadow.

You see, the page and the columns weren’t going to get better. The people were always going to fail. And, the Mosaic Covenant was always going to be conditional: it offered life and prosperity for obedience, but disobedience resulted in death and destruction. The People of Israel were unable to save themselves and, even in this tiny sliver of the Old Testament, a clear need for a Substitute is apparent. The Israelites needed Jesus. They needed Righteousness to come down in their place.

“For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:3-4, ESV)

The Israelites recognize their grave misdeeds and are confessing their need for the Father’s mercy.

“For you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly.”

And when it’s all laid out in the open, no matter what the page says – no matter how painfully our unfaithfulness looks compared to His sovereign faithfulness – all that’s left to see is Christ.

12a

12

  • I struggle with serial sins and this is sooo good to hear. Sometimes I just want to give up because I feel so unworthy. But…He keeps right on forgiving and blessing me as long as I get back up. Thank You, God, for sending your perfect Son to this earth.

  • Nikki Falvey

    Praise the Lord

  • Kasey Summers

    When we are faithless, He remains faithful!! Praise Him!

  • Mrs.Walton

    I couldn’t imagine how I would react if my children continued to fail me daily. Would I be as loving and full of forgiveness as my Lord? I cannot help but think of all the ways I have failed Him for years and years and even today but He is faithful and full of gracious mercy for me and for you. Amen to that!

  • Melissa Dennis

    Oh how I love this truth! All we can see IS Christ! His blood still runs warm amidst all our unfaithfulness when we are found anew in Him through saving grace! There is so much reason to press on when His glory is the channel by which we work in this world- and what a wonder that we shall never fall under the curse again! Thank you for the encouragement sisters!

  • this was so good for me to read today! looking at this page of Gods faithfulness against our wickedness is so humbling. I am so grateful to serve a God who continues to rescue me over and over again. I can see now my sins of disobedience, lust, arrogance, lack of respect, selfishness, the attitude of insisting on my way, all of these things are wicked. they prevent me from enjoying Jesus. they are false gods that I run to over and over again. praying for Gods great mercy and grace over them.

  • Brittany Burkman

    Nehemiah 9:27 sit with me as I think about how many times He has saved me from earthly desires (sex, marriage, status, job) and I still refuse His saving Grace then I suffer. He is not the cause of my suffering, but the earthly desires are when I am enslaved to them.

  • oh my goodness, I loved this. Thanks for this today (so I’m a week behind….it’s fine right?

    • Kaitlin

      Of course, Kara! So happy to have you xoxo

      -Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • How can I not completely surrender to a God like that? But still I hold tight to parts of my will. Forgive me.

  • LaurenC_

    So, so thankful for God’s grace and mercy.

  • I just love this sisters. Digging into the earth of the bible. Reading things and seeing things I haven’t before. This is what it means to study the bible. The very word of God! the chronicles of his faithfulness and everlasting goodness.
    I did the column thing and the list of his faithfulness and the list of the Israelites unfaithfulness. ..wow. god kept his promise. ..he heaped on something else to this list of covenant and faithfulness. ..jesus. God gave us the righteousness of his son even in our wickedness. Thank you God.

  • jaustin35

    Reading these words reminds me of the song; "I need the oh I need the every hour I need the……." How I need Jesus each and every day and I am very thankful that even when you and I mess up He is right there hands out stretched to love us again like He was with the Israelites (70 times 70 He forgives us……..) AMEN!!!!!

  • How I needed this today… how I've failed so miserably. Sisters, pray for me. That I'd see Christ and believe in Him more than my own failures. I love you guys.

  • Some verses from the NLT that spoke to me:

    17. But you are a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love. You did not abandon them,

    27 So you handed them over to their enemies, who made them suffer. But in their time of trouble they cried to you, and you heard them from heaven.

    28 Yet whenever your people turned and cried to you again for help, you listened once more from heaven. In your wonderful mercy, you rescued them many times!

    30 In your love, you were patient with them for many years. But still they wouldn’t listen!
    31 But in your great mercy, you did not destroy them completely or abandon them forever. What a gracious and merciful God you are!

    33 Every time you punished us you were being just. We have sinned greatly, and you gave us only what we deserved. (Nehemiah 9:17 NLT)

    What a great and merciful God!

  • Elizabeth Miller

    My flesh says fear, worry, logic. Is Rwanda safe? What is my purpose in going? Am I qualified to be among the story tellers that are going? My spirit says, fear not! I go before you and I follow you! If you haven’t voted in the style for justice competition, I would treasure your vote! http://www.noondaycollection.com/styleforjustice#view/23056/2110642

  • Kristine

    I'm just starting this study and I read today's email for a glimpse of what's to come. (Yes, I feel like I'm getting a sneak peek into an amazing movie or novel!) What a glorious sign to see the words: I SEE CHRIST.

    This study could not be more timely. This past year, I lost both parents within a matter of months and now my siblings and I are in the process of settling estate matters. What was once a large, happy family has now turned into a ruin of grief, greed, jealousy…and the like. Without our parents there to stand as our firm foundation, the walls have truly come down! As the youngest, this study touches my heart in such a special way: heartbroken, wanting to help, but feeling so small and outnumbered. I know our wonderful God will prevail in this situation, as he always does. And I am open to ways He will use me for His glory.

    I just want to thank you all for your daily comments in this forum. Along with the study guide (I can't wait to test out the app!) I eagerly look to see what additional insight and verses you have found. In fact, that's my favorite part! You ladies inspire me more than you will ever know…I am always learning from your experiences and I can't thank you enough. I am grateful to have this wonderful community. Prayers & blessings to you all! : )

    • joy

      Kristine, I've not once replied to someone o here but this morn as my kids are still Asleep (!) I have time and am prompted to reply to you. Holy spirit, move in this family. Be the center of what s going on. There is such grief and emotion involved inside of each sibling which may be very valid but it can come out in ugly ways. I pray each is put in check by you and if he it she doesn't know you, don't leave them alone. Take hold and love them and make them keenly aware of needing. You. As Kristine iss in the middle of this, give her clarity to know when to speak out and when to be quiet. Give her compassion to see beyond unkindnesses. Give her boldness to begin meetings, if she's led, with a prayer or word of YOU to center every ones minds. Love through her in big ways. Give her confidence because of you.

  • Jenny D.

    I still have the marks along this passage from the last time we read this that allow me to recapture myself praying in the margins to the Lord, asking that I maintain sight of His "pillars of guidance". And having a year pass now, I can see His faithfulness in continuing that guidance even throughout the hardships. And it is a blessing to be able to read and resonate with vs. 33 "In all that has happened to [me], you have been just; you have acted faithfully, while [I] did wrong." Thank you, Lord, for being the One that I can fall upon in my "great distress" – regardless of whether it's self-imposed or the results of our fallen, broken world. You are faithful and can be trusted. Amen.

    • AnnaLee

      Your words are needed, Jenny. "Thank you, Lord, for being the Once that I can full upon in my 'great distress' – regardless of whether it's self-imposed or the results of our fallen, broken world." It's really, really hard for me to let God catch me when I trip myself. To receive that kind of goodness. Which is insulting, sinful and foolish… forgive me, Oh God. I need you. Help me to let myself fall upon You.

      • Jenny D.

        So glad the words spoken to me through the study were also an encouragement to you, AnnaLee. Praying we both can find beauty in our complete inability to do anything apart from Him.

  • Cariana Taliaferro

    WOW! Mind BLOWN. This was awesome! God is awesome: always faithful, gracious, and merciful. I wasn't even going to do Bible time today, but He gave me the discipline to do it. He gave me exactly what I needed…something different. I love the studies, but for me it was hard doing the same thing everyday even though I was learning and growing in Christ because of it. Thank you for your obedience. Because of your obedience, you all have blessed me so much!

  • CarrieLynne31

    Another recommendation is the movie Monumental that also discusses the history of America and what the people had endured. Lots of information that isn't in the history books today. We are a nation that really has turned from Him in a lot of ways. But God continues to be ready to forgive never forsaking us. Compared with so many other people around the globe, we can all say we have clothes on our back, food in our pantries, and everything we could possibly need and more. Yet we are always in "need of more" because that's what the world says. We are never content.

    • CarrieLynne31

      Forgive me Father for sinning against you, living a joy-ride into sin instead of being faithful. You always provide everything that I need and yet I'm guilty of not being satisfied. Just like the Israelites, "their clothes did not wear out and they lacked nothing. You multiplied their children as the stars of heaven and you brought them into them land that you promised." I have lived a pretty comfortable life. Repeatedly, you have blessed me and yet I'm never satisfied. Thank you for taking care of me, even when I don't deserve it. Thank you for purifying me from all unrighteousness. I want to live for you and not the world!

  • CarrieLynne31

    A couple years ago I read a book called The Light and the Glory For Children by Peter Marshall & David Manuel. I remembered how much it really stood out for me and my children the way God has blessed the people of America over and over again, even when our people had been unfaithful. You really see how his plan shaped our country. The people would be faithful to God for a short time, then act wickedly, and the cycle goes on. If you have children, I highly recommend this book. This is the first book of a series of God's plan for America.

    As His people, we are constantly living faithfully and then wickedly. Something God has really done in my life recently is forgiving someone who has continued to hurt me over and over again. Today's devotional was a great reminder that I really need to forgive just as God has forgiven me for all of the times I've been unfaithful. Thank you, God, for this reminder today.

  • Just this week I was being reminded of how quickly I forget the lords faithfulness in my life. How timely of a study and how true are these words, that regardless of how many times I fail and falter The Lord is great in his faithfulness and his mercies are new every morning. I pray we would live with this realization always at the forefront of our minds.

    • Morgan

      Kellie, this is what stood out to me, too. That remembrance of God's faithfulness throughout their history. Lord, you are the great shepherd, the one who seeks the lost, who pursues, who protects, who provides, who gathers, who goes before. May we, in our distress, confess our wrongdoings but more importantly, recall your faithfulness throughout our lives. That when we have wandered you have sought us with lovingkindness and compassion. May each of those instances of your faithfulness be at the forefront of our confession and worship of you.

  • Wow talk about Gods goodness!!! Taking time to reflect on my own times I’ve done that and how His mercy covered and kept me. Also praying that I give this mercy to others (esp my husband) pray for me today!

  • napturallymary

    When you sit back and think about God's faithfulness, it is amazing how much he loves us. He is so patient. I am grateful that he doesn't completely give up on us.

  • Courtney

    This was great.

  • "For you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly"
    Try substituting "I" for "we". Pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?
    Thank God for Jesus!!!
    Beckey http://www.etsy.com/shop/queenbsbusywork

    • CarrieLynne31

      YES!!!! Really puts it into perspective by that one word change! Thanks Beckey for sharing!

  • joanne sher

    His incredible faithfulness never fails – even as our incredible wickedness never ends. His mercies are new every morning. How can we be so reluctant to forgive others when they disappoint us, to dismiss others when they mess up. Did I ever need this today!

    • CarrieLynne31

      Me too! I really needed this today. I have been having trouble forgiving someone in my life who continues repeatedly to hurt me yet God forgives me over and over again, even when I'm hurting Him. Thanks for reminding me that I need to forgive others, Joanne!

  • Candacejo

    "Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell." I've always loved this part about the Israelites in the wilderness. There are so many miracles performed for them by Almigty God, the Great I Am, yet this one seemingly small detail gets me every time!

    For 40 long years they wore the same clothes and shoes! Imagine that! We oftentimes will not wear the same outfit the next season, who could imagine only having the same pair of shoes to wear for 40 years…and they never fell apart?

    God of the details, He is that to each one of us. When we step out to do something for Him, he will not leave is without the necessary tools. He is faithful!

  • talesofbeautyforashes

    I could easily do this activity in my life. I would see the long list of my sins against God and His faithfulness and forgiveness amidst them all. Sometimes, it is important to look back, so you can see how God had prepared you to move forward. I a, so grateful for His unending love and mercy in my life, He has done great things in me, and will continue on until the day of Christ!

    • CarrieLynne31

      Me too. I can totally do this and see how often He has blessed my left and yet I've turned away from Him. Father forgive me for turning away from you. Thank you for all that you've done for me!

  • Amen. We serve a God, gracious in mercy, always ready to frogive, One who is just and faithful in all His ways. This should not give us the permission to sin knowing He will forgive us, NO! This should allow us to see who He is, and glorify Him for that and not for what He has done for us. We should realise that He sent His son hence we dont have to keep failing like the Israelites did. They needed a saviour, we needed a saviour and He came to save us, hence we are free, no longer bound to sin and shame.. let us embrace the Father for who He is today, walk in righteousness and if we are in any place not right with Him, repent, be forgiven and move ahead. No turning back, no faltering in the same mess, its time we get over them, with the blood of Jesus no sin is to strong. To repent means to turn away from, hence with true repentance we dont keep doing the same things.

    As we go throughout our days, and even our lives,may we see Gods goodness each day for He is unchangeable. Let us embrace Him for who He is and live righteously and without blame before Him. We serve an awesome God.

    Gof bless you all. Thank You SRT.

    • CarrieLynne31

      So true, Kimone. So many people think this is their ticket to doing whatever they want… living a kind of joy-ride into sin. I am so thankful that His mercies are new every morning. Blessings!!!

    • AnnaLee

      Wow. …"They needed a saviour, we needed a saviour and He came to save us, hence we are free, no longer bound to sin and shame… let us embrace the Father for who He is today, walk in righteousness and if we are in any place not right with Him, repent, be roggiven and move ahead. …No faltering in the same mess, its time we get over them, with the blood of Jesus no sin is to strong."

      With the blood of Jesus no sin is too strong. Thank you for this truth today, sister. Thank you. Praise the Lord, that none of this is about us, that He wipes out all sin in us, that He will kill death itself and throw even hell into the lake of fire at the end of the age (Rev 20:14). Father, make me to understand the fullness of both your righteousness and your grace.

      • Kimone

        CarrieLynne this is how we are to see God, and stop jumping in and out. One day those who jump out may not be so lucky to come back in. Its time we stop forsaking grace and live pleasing before GOD. Stop upsetting Him with things we can avoid.
        AnnaLee happy that you are blessed. Glory be to God.

  • “But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.” (9:17)……

    “For you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly.”

    And when it’s all laid out in the open, no matter what the page says – no matter how painfully our unfaithfulness looks compared to His sovereign faithfulness – all that’s left to see is Christ……I need Jesus….everyday in my life…to be able to walk in a manner befitting to the Glory of God….I need Jesus….to be able to put one foot in front of the other….I need Jesus…..Thank you Lord God, for showing me not just the shadow of Jesus, but the real deal…Thank you that He came, that by your love and faithfulness for and to us He came…..in the flesh….no shadows…..even when we/ I did not deserve it, to live in me/us…..Thank you Lord God for the second d, sixth, hundredth, and counting chances….to get it right with you….Thank you Lord God…..

    What a blessing it is to see God, on the pages of my life story…..for here I am…., the sinner, the wrong doer, ….in full receipt of His forgiveness, graciousness, His mercy, and what abundant Love, and although, it may feel like it sometimes, i know He DOES NOT forsake me….and He never will…for I have Jesus in my heart…..All praise, worship and Glory to you, my God….Amen… Thank you…..

    Sister's, God bless your days' whatever they look like….Thank you for you in my life each and every one, be it over the web, you are,all very precious to me…..Thank you…x xxx

    • CarrieLynne31

      Oh man! Do I need Jesus… each and everyday. I am so thankful He is ready to forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness. Wishing you a blessed day, Tina!

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