Saturday, October 29, 2016

Nehemiah-A Covenant for A New Generation

By Mary Vee
Nehemiah 9

From Nehemiah's Journal



Photo Courtesy
My name is Nehemiah. I had been a servant in Babylon for a long time.

Since that time, I traveled to Jerusalem, oversaw the rebuilding of the walls, took care of a few bullies, and am now working with the prophet Ezra to train the people in the Law of Moses. 

Last time I wrote the Levites said the first part of their prayer. The people are still standing listening: 



"But then our fathers mutinied, rebelled against you, threw out your laws and killed your prophets, the very prophets who tried to get them back on your side—
And then things went from bad to worse.
You turned them over to their enemies, who made life rough for them.
But when they called out for help in their troubles 
You listened from heaven and in keeping with your bottomless compassion 
You gave them deliverers who saved them from the cruel abuse of their enemies.
But as soon as they had it easy again they were right back at it—more evil.
So you turned away and left them again to their fate, to the enemies who came right back.
They cried out to you again. In your great compassion you heard and helped them again.
This went on over and over and over.

You warned them to return to your Revelation, they responded with haughty arrogance:
They flouted your commands, spurned your rules—the very words by which men and women live!
They set their jaws in defiance, they turned their backs on you and didn’t listen.
You put up with them year after year and warned them by your spirit through your prophets.
But when they refused to listen you abandoned them to foreigners.
Still, because of your great compassion You didn’t make a total end to them.
You didn’t walk out and leave them for good.
Yes, you are a God of grace and compassion.

And now, our God, the great God, God majestic and awesome, loyal in covenant and love, don’t treat lightly the trouble that has come to us, to our kings and princes, our priests and prophets, our ancestors, and all your people from the time of the Assyrian kings right down to today.
You are not to blame for all that has come down on us.
You did everything right. We did everything wrong.
None of our kings, princes, priests, or ancestors followed your Revelation.
They ignored your commands, dismissed the warnings you gave them.
Even when they had their own kingdom and were enjoying your generous goodness, living in that spacious and fertile land that you spread out before them, 
they didn’t serve you or turn their backs on the practice of evil.

And here we are, slaves again today. And here’s the land you gave our ancestors so they could eat well and enjoy a good life, and now look at us—no better than slaves on this land.
Its wonderful crops go to the kings you placed over us because of our sins.
They act like they own our bodies and do whatever they like with our cattle.

We’re in deep trouble.
“Because of all this we are drawing up a binding pledge, a sealed document signed by our princes, our Levites, and our priests.”



When the Levites finished this prayer for all the people the leaders signed the document.

Come back next time to see what happens.
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sources: New International Version, New King James Version, The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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