Slaves in Their Own Land

One Saturday afternoon I said to my two children, “I’ll give you 75 cents to wash my car.” My younger son Chuck said, “Who in the world wants to wash a car for 75 cents?” So I turned to Colleen, our younger daughter and said, “Honey, I’ll give you $1.50 i … More

Grace

 

  • D. The grace of God (vv 32-39) - God was good to His people when His people were not good to Him. In His mercy He didn’t give them what they deserved.

The history of the children of Israel is brought up to date (v. 32). In the past they had enjoyed abundant blessings even though they had sinned against God. They were back in the land, but they could not enjoy the land; for everything they worked for was given to somebody else. They were slaves in their own land (v. 36). Being slaves meant that they had to pay taxes to Persia, and Judah’s governmental leaders had to give the Persian kings money from the produce of the land.

The people recognized that all the problems that came from their captivity were well deserved, “But we have done wickedly.” (v. 33). They had acknowledged God’s greatness and goodness; and now on the basis of His grace they asked Him for a new beginning. They couldn’t change their servitude situation, but they could surrender themselves and seek His help. The Israelites did more than ask God for mercy; they also made a solemn covenant with God to obey His law and do His will. On the basis of their repentance and prayer, they made an agreement with God. This agreement was made on a sealed document. They agreed to separate from the heathen and to continue keeping the commandments of God.

Application

I need to ask myself the question, “Do my blessings make me thankful to God and draw me closer to Him or do I allow them make me feel self sufficient and forgetful of Him?”

Nehemiah 9:32-39 (English Standard Version)


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