January 14, 2021


Read – Nehemiah 9

What does it say?
The Levites led Israel in prayer – praising the Lord’s name, confessing their sins, and recognizing His faithfulness despite their continual disobedience.

What does it mean?
The grief Israel felt over their sin after reading the Book of the Law resulted in individual and corporate repentance. The Lord’s name and attributes were praised as the Levites offered thankful recognition of all that He had done for every generation of Israelites. The bulk of the prayer, however, is a confession of the nation’s long history of sin, which led to their present circumstances. Although enslaved in their own land, they asked for only one thing: that He would not regard their present suffering lightly. Even in “great distress” they focused on the greatness and faithfulness of their God.

How should I respond?
Reading Scripture and talking to God go hand-in-hand; one should naturally lead to the other. The prayer in today’s passage is a beautiful example for us to follow. Too often our prayers are so filled with asking for God’s provision and protection that we forget to thank Him for His faithfulness. But consider the other two parts of this prayer – praise and confession. How much time do you spend praising the name and character of the Lord? Try reading this passage as a personal prayer. Praise God for His attributes listed; then confess your own sins in place of Israel’s. Focus on His faithfulness today.