Thursday, March 12, 2009

Levites Recount Israel's Rebellion Nehemiah 9

Nehemiah 9:1 "Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them."

They have now heard the law read and explained to them. The children of Israel faced their own sin head on. They humbled themselves before the Lord.

They separated themselves from the strangers of the land v2 "And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers."

Then some stood up to recount some of the history of the people. It was a sad story of the sin of the people and the wonderful mercy of God.

v13 "Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:"

Here they confirm that what God told them to do and the guidelines he set down were the right way for them to go. It is quite different in our time where, it seems, every thing that God told us to do is questioned. Why did God tell us to do this or that? Why does God let this or that happen? It is hard for people to accept the truth when it condemns the way they live. It is also difficult for man to admit that there is a power higher and more honorable than they.

v16 "But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments,"

Even while the rebellion was going on, the LORD sustained the people and multiplied them as the stars.

v21 "Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing, their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not. v23 Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it."

In this recount of the events concerning Israel, we can see that God kept his promises and did not falter in his care for his chosen people. It was Israel that sinned and brought the captivity upon themselves. God was faithful even though they were not.

v31 "Nevertheless for thy great mercies' sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God."

v33 "Howbeit thou are just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly;"

So they now make a covenant with God and put their signatures to the document. The next chapter continues the subject.

In Acts chapter 7 of the New Testament, Stephen recounts a brief history of Israel when he was before the council before he was stoned. It is a good read and goes along with this prayer in Nehemiah. Stephen continues the rebellious acts to the death of Jesus Christ.

Acts 7:51-52 "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart, and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted; and they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:"

As generations come and go, Israel has rebelled, but in our study the remnant are as one coming to terms with their sin and the rightness of the law for them.

Isaiah 33:5 "The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness."

Accepting the law as right and confessing sin in Jerusalem.

Law read and explained

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