2 Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners as they confessed their own sins and the sins of their ancestors. 3 They remained standing in place for three hours while the Book of the Law of the Lord their God was read aloud to them. Then for three more hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord their God. source
What if in this coronavirus crisis we did this? We are social distancing already. What if we allowed ourselves to be drawn to GOD while we are separated from one another? What if we asked The Holy Spirit to show us our sins and when He does, confess them and turn away from them? What if we prayed for We the People to confess and repent?
Verse. 3. Look what else they did. They read The Bible! Well, actually they read The Sacred Scrolls. We have The Holy Bible.
And they worshipped!
What if we did this? What do you think would happen?
And one more question. Why would you not; why would you not invest this time this way?
Nehemiah 1:6 please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You, day and night, on behalf of Your servants, the sons (descendants) of Israel (Jacob), confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have committed against You; I and my father’s house have sinned. source
If we get nothing else from this verse of Scripture, (and there is MUCH to get) let us get this: Confessing the sins of the sons of Israel. Or in our case, our fellow Americans; let’s make that around the world people!
Let us get that it is appropriate, so very appropriate, for us to confess in prayer the sins of others. Let’s name it intercessory prayer for people in rebellion against GOD. And be sure any person repeatedly and willfully practicing sin IS in rebellion against GOD. And if we are privy to those sins, we better be confessing their sins to the Father and pleading with Him to have mercy and grant them grace and space to repent. AND we better be hoping they are doing the same for us!
As I said there is SO MUCH more in this verse. What we say, we read it a few more times and listen for what the Father has to say? Yes? Good.
I have one verse to share with you.
Nehemiah 1: 5 And I said, “Please, O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, source
Verse 5 is so full!
Please. He’s coming with humility and fully aware that it is by grace he gets to come before the LORD of Heaven.
Next, he realizes and proclaims that this GOD he is speaking to is great, awesome, that is there is NO god anywhere that is like Him or above Him.
Moreover, he knows this GOD enters covenants with people and that He keeps those covenants – He never breaks them. Additionally, He knows GOD is loving and kind and He demonstrates that loving-kindness to everyone who gives their love to Him, evidenced by keeping His commands.
This Old Testament accounting/description of GOD is just as true today and it was when Nehemiah prayed and penned these words.
Could it be we could follow suit?
How about a KWT paraphrase?
Nehemiah 8:10 (NASB)10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” source
Doesn’t this verse give us great counsel for living?
Keep yourself well hydrated both physically and spiritually with the sweet Word of the LORD and the glorious blessings He has provided for us; and look out for one another. When you see a brother or sister who is not prepared, give to them of what you have so they may come to know the joy of the LORD too. Don’t grieve over what you do not have but give praise for what you do have, live in the joy of the LORD for THEN are you strong!