A Look at Nehemiah: Do You Remember?

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I’m amazed at how well the Lord knows us. I realize this is a somewhat silly thing to type because he made us so it only makes sense that he would know us really well. But I’m still blown away by the fact that he is not surprised or thrown off my human nature. He isn’t flabbergasted or stupified when we act like the ridiculous humans that we are. He doesn’t bat an eye at our weirdness, in fact, some of his instructions in the Bible are probably due to the fact that we are this way.

The Old Testament is filled with instructions to build altars or monuments to the work of God. Whenever God did something significant or miraculous for the people of Israel, one of the leaders set up an altar so they could remember. Because God knows that we are fickle and can be so flighty, he knew we would need reminders of him. Any time they passed by one of these altars, they would be reminded of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and provision. What an encouragement!

And that’s what we see again in Nehemiah 9. The people gather together to worship God, confess their sins, and repent from them. In front of everyone, the Levites began to go through miracle after miracle of the Lord. They were able to share, in no uncertain terms, just how good God is and how he had been with them every step of the way. They talked about his faithfulness to Abraham and the miraculous parting of the Red Sea. And then they reminded the people of their ancestor’s disobedience, though God had always been faithful to them.

How often do you set aside time to remember?

I tend to spend a lot of my time dreaming of the future; rarely do I look back to the past. While living in the past isn’t healthy, I think that remembering where we’ve come from and what God has brought us through is incredibly important.

I recently started reading the book Jezebel: The Witch is Back, and it’s blowing my mind! I didn’t realize how much I have grown in the past few years until I dove into this book. While reading one chapter in particular, I had flashbacks to previous times in my life when I was, without a doubt, operating only out of hurt and pain and anger. I was so insecure and I didn’t know who I was in the Lord. I didn’t believe that he could love and choose me so I turned to manipulation to get what I wanted.

After reading for a while, I had to take a break to just thank the Lord for all he’s done in my life. I couldn’t believe that I’ve come this far and changed so much. I felt nothing but gratitude. I am so far from perfect and I still fail and sin all the time, but I can truly say that he has brought me through more than I can adequately express in this short blog post.

When I remember the goodness of the Lord and all he’s brought me through, I can’t help but echo what the Israelites said as they recounted his goodness:

“Nevertheless, in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.” Nehemiah 9:31 (ESV)

How often do you stop to remember?

What’s one practical way to express your gratitude today?

To go Deeper: Read Don’t Disdain the Little Things, Let’s Go For a Swim!

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