Nehemiah: Day 12

Our Nation Confessed Our Sin

by

Today's Text: Nehemiah 9:1-37, 2 Corinthians 1:20-22

Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 9:1-37, 2 Corinthians 1:20-22

The last thing you want after a long week away is a bad ride home from the airport. But that’s where I found myself last week, hailing an Uber ride from the arrivals entrance. A frequent traveler, I typically enjoy these modern-day “cabs.” The driver who came to pick me up late that night was kind and hospitable, hoisting my luggage into the trunk and respecting my lack of desire to make small talk. Like I said, it had been a long week, and I was grateful for the relative quiet.

My ride home from the airport should have been simple—one I could probably drive with my eyes closed. That’s why I noticed the two U-turns, the missed stop sign, the turnaround in a grocery store parking lot, and the driver who became increasingly silent. Maybe I should have spoken up sooner, but when I finally asked, “Where are we?” it was because I already knew the answer: we were lost. Very, very lost. The driver had missed the intended destination entirely.

The word “sin” comes from the idea of failure, “the act or state of missing the mark.” I confess that every time I sin, I am acting out of my humanity and turning my heart away from my Father. I turn away from the intended place He has created for me: living in His presence and in relationship with Him. In day-to-day life sin can become much more than just my actions; it can begin to feel more like my permanent residence.

Like the embarrassed apology my driver made when we finally made it home, returning to the reality of my sin always makes me feel ashamed. But in Nehemiah 9, we have an opportunity to reframe this together, watching as the children of Israel gather together to confess their sin. However, instead of being driven by guilt, they are empowered by celebration. Just days after the feast of the tabernacles, one of the most joyful parties they’d ever had, they paused to realign their hearts with God’s—not because they were hurt or afraid, but because they were thankful.

It is a grace that God “[acts] faithfully, while we have acted wickedly” (Nehemiah 9:33). It is a gift that He keeps covenants, even when we do not. At the intersection of our lack and His goodness, may we return to Him, remembering and cherishing what it is to be considered His. All promises are “yes” in the Savior who calls His wandering children home, again and again (2 Corinthians 1:20).

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  • Emily Gates

    What an incredible representation of a walk with God. Constant failure on my part, constant faithfulness on His. A Father of a million second chances. All because He calls me daughter and I call Him Abba. ❤️

  • Elizabeth Claire

    Great is thy faithfulness. Great reminder of God’s faithfulness and promises as I wait for some long time prayers to be answered.

  • Shelby Lynn

    What a good read, a little late on my part. But the prayer I’ve been doing asking for God to reveal to me my sin so i understand the vastness of it as it hurts God. Despite me always falling short; God doesn’t.

    Thank you Almighty Father!

  • Melissa Corrick

    Anyone know how to highlight and copy in the iOS app?

    • Emily W

      I would love to know the same thing! I miss that feature the most in the new app!

    • Tana Chmieleski

      I just tried to do the same thing! the only option I could find was to go to the scripture directly through the links and copy/ highlight there. Hope that helps!

    • Justine Wells

      I would also like to know! :)

    • Melissa Corrick

      Thanks everyone! I’ve contacted SRT directly. If the app isn’t going to have basic features I’m not going to pay for it. I can easily use the website. I’ll post once I have an update.

    • Brittney Garvey

      You have to click “read in the Bible” link after the scripture to high light!

  • Natasha Reyes

    Thank you Lord for your perfect love. ❤️❤️❤️

  • EV Monroe

    I thought it a sign from God that this was the reading for today. Last night (the 24th of this month) I got down on my face and knees and confessed my sins before God.
    Our Father is amazing in how He shows us He is here and listening. I’m reminded here that my lack and failure are not unique. Even the Israelites kept running away and running back. God shows me here I am no different than them and I am just as loved and forgiven as they are.
    Thank You, Lord!

    • Tricia Cavanaugh

      Amen! I am so grateful that He is there again, when I sin again and again. What a patient and merciful God!

  • Thought this chapter of Nehemiah was so beautiful. Relevant and informative, I love how Nehemiah summarized the entirety of Israel’s endeavors to survive in this sinful world prior to Christ– constantly feeling torn between Truth and sin. This is so true of us now! I praise God we can come before Him through Christ so readily and His hands are already open to us. In my constant battles between Truth and sin, I find God’s consistency with the Israelites more than comforting and strengthening as I seek to know God more, freed from shame through the cross.

    • Ann Duncan

      Amen! Isn’t it beautiful how patient He is and how we can look back and see his beautiful faithfulness! Thank you for this comment it spoke to me so much!

  • Thank You Father! You are a Great, Mighty, Fearsome God, Who keeps BOTH covenant and grace! Balm to my soul today.

  • Brooks LeeLaCombe

    I often act like the Israelites. So glad God is forgiving and keeps His promises. What a good, good Father he is.

  • Monica Davis

    What a faithful god

  • I cried my way through most of this chapter of Nehemiah as I saw myself so clearly as the rebellious sinner that I am. Making amends and then circling back to the same disobedience until crisis and then crying out, repent, forgiven, repeat! What a blessing to know that God is a “forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love, and you did not abandon them.” (Nehemiah 9:17) He did not abandon me either! I need to stop the cycle and push the “hold button” at forgiven, and never repeat my sinful pattern of behavior. Keeping a check daily and laying it at His feet each and every morning is key and letting the enemy know that this is a fight I plan to win, in Jesus Name. This was an amazing reading this morning and great way to start off my Friday and weekend! Thank you, SRT community. Have a blessed weekend and Memorial Day Holiday. Stay safe everyone!

    • Kat Wilton

      Susan, thank you so much for posting this – today’s passage reminded me of God’s wonderful kindness and goodness, and your comment reminded me that my sins are nothing new under the sun. What *IS* new – and new every morning – is the grace and forgiveness Go offers to His children. Just like you, I need to stop and stay at FORGIVEN and lay my sins at His feet every day.

      Thanks for the encouragement!

  • What a testament to the faithfulness of our God and to the depth of our sin! It makes me so grateful for grace, repentance, the torn veil, and Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

  • Verna Miller

    Forever grateful that God is a forgiving God, that He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, loves us with a faithful love and never abandons us!

  • Kelly Chataine

    Perennial flowers are a hobby and delight. This spring has been much more difficult concerning weeds and garden upkeep. You see, due to a crisis, I was not around to work in my gardens in October or November. Due to additional responsibilities and appointments, the weeds seem to be taking over. Typically, my husband would be helping me with the spring weeding, and we would have things well in hand by this time. Weeds. Sometimes they seem pretty. Often, the foliage mimics familiar plants. Other times it seems weeds have the best root system and getting the entire root is near impossible. Sin is so much like weeds. Our sin needs to be dealt with on a daily basis. Sometimes our sin is attractive to us, and we would rather hold onto it. Sin can try to mimic what is right. For instance, saying I am concerned about another person when I just want the latest update and gossip. Sin can be painful to root out and pops back up often. Thanks to Jesus for taking my punishment! Thanks to Jesus for paying the full price! Thanks to Jesus I am beautiful, clean, and righteous!

  • God is so good. Like our second verse says, all God’s promises are Yes in Jesus. I’ve been thinking about the Holy Spirit and how God lives I us through the Spirit. The verse says the Spirit is our Guarentee. The Holy Spirit is often overlooked, but He is God too. Jesus told His disciples that it was better for Him to go and He would send a Helper. They were probably tbinking, what is better than having Jesus. His promise was for them and us. Of course, we know Jesus had to go and complete the salvation plan for us. But He didn’t leave them alone and He doesn’t leave us alone. God actually lives in us and the Spirit comforts, leads, convicts, and empowers us. I want all God has for me. I’ve been learning more about the Spirit, but was thinking that getting a Concordance and looking up the verses may be good. I know there are resources out there too. I’m grateful that God is long suffering and that He didn’t leave us alone!

    • Becky

      Frances Chan has a great book and study guide about the Holy Spirit called “The Forgotten God.” I highly recommended.

  • Ashley Ann

    This reading was challenging today. For me, the line saying they spent a quarter of the day reading God’s word and a quarter worshipping made me feel…guilty? As if I’m putting priority in other things. My worth is NOT in this world, but in His world.

    • Kelly Chataine

      I understand how you felt. Thinking about my priorities and time spent in God’s Word, as well.

  • God is always with us even through all our sins,he still forgives and loves us!!!

  • Churchmouse

    In the long history of Israel, they encountered many gods and even worshiped a few. Some Israelites stayed faithful to the one true God but many succumbed to the culture in which they found themselves. They forgot their God with the big G and fell for lesser ones, the ones with the small g. Look what Nehemiah does in today’s passage though – he speaks directly to God about God so that all the people hear and know Who had been and is leading their lives. Nehemiah says ” You”. You, God did this even while we did this. You, God were behind it all and before it all and in the midst of it all. You. And we forgot. We didn’t see. We didn’t remember. We forgot You. The people are so sorry. God is so faithful. We are so sorry. You are so faithful. I’m so sorry. You are my God. Now and forever Amen.

  • Cristy Creighton

    I loved this reading today. Finding myself feeling like the Israelites these days. Face to face with my wickedness and grateful for his faithfulness.

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