Monday, June 9, 2014

Nehemiah's Repentance - Is it Yours as Well?

This is the second part of Nehemiah’s prayer.

It became a confession of sins.  And it came from a heart that knew God’s heart. Nehemiah pleaded with God to open His eyes and ears and to be attentive to the prayers that he was offering up to Him. Nehemiah’s relationship with God was being revealed. “Lord, would You please. I know that You are the mighty God of the entire universe, but for just a moment, would You put Your ear down to my heart?”  Here is a person with a personal relationship with God. He is not considering God to be a vague, powerful force out there that might hear us.  No! Nehemiah says, “Would You bring Your ear close to me?  I need to say something to You.  I need to talk to You person to person.  I need to speak into Your ear.  I need to look into Your eyes.” 

He was pleading day and night for Israel. He was pleading for the Jews, but most importantly, he was confessing their sins. If Nehemiah’s prayers, according to the text, lasted several days, just imagine him pondering over all the sins that his father or grandfather had relayed to him – the same sins that God Himself was now revealing to Nehemiah’s heart. 

  • When God gets close to you, He’s going to hear you, but, guess what – you are also going to hear Him.  You are going to hear God’s heart – His brokenness. 
  • Nehemiah heard the torn heart of God – the realization that His chosen people had not kept the covenant.  It was a covenant based on love and mercy, and they had abandoned it.  They had abandoned God.
  • This must have been a truly heart wrenching time for Nehemiah.  I know many of us have been in that same situation.  You can be praying and the Lord will begin to drop things on your heart that will just wrench your heart.  All you can do is cry, “Oh, God, I’m sorry I did that!” When God’s goodness starts coming upon us, there is a move of repentance that is heart wrenching.  This experience was excruciating for Nehemiah. 

Nehemiah may not have done any of those things.  He must have committed his own sins, but not those.  Yet, he confessed, “Both my father’s house and I have sinned.”What about your life?  What about your workplace? What about your family?  What about your city, state or nation?  Take a serious moment with the Lord - face to face - and declare from your heart: “Both my father’s house and I have sinned.”

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