Do you picture God as an angry, vengeful God that is waiting for you to screw up?
That image of God is contrary to who Nehemiah describes in Chapter 9. He describes a God that rescued His people, he chose out of grace, from slavery by parting the Red Sea and leading them to the promised land. Furthermore, when they were hungry in the desert, God fed them with manna from heaven. When they were thirsty, God provided water from a rock. does this sound like an angry and vengeful God?
You would think Israel would be forever grateful. But instead, Nehemiah describes them as entitled and arrogant. They failed to obey commands and forgot the miracles God performed among them. God had every right to punish Israel, but instead, He showed them grace. Though there were consequences for their sin, God never abandoned them. He relentlessly pursued them with compassion, love, and protection. That’s the kind of father God is.
Israel’s story is our story. Even when we are sinful, God pursues us, acting justly and faithfully, even when we do wrong. God is not scared of our mess. He meets us right in the middle of it.
Nehemiah thanks God for His mercy despite the Israelites’ sin. And hundreds of years later, God sends the greatest difference maker of all in Jesus. God chose these people with their messy past to introduce the Savior of the world to the world. He truly is a gracious God! In light of all God has done, the only response is gratitude.
How does looking at your current situation through the lens of God’s grace change your perspective?
Father, here is how you have been good to me……(fill with a list of thankful thoughts and things you are thankful for in your life)
Kiefer is the Worship Leader at Pleasant Grove Reformed Church, outside of the church he is a creative director and graphic artist.
At 11 A.M. for our worship service!