Nehemiah 9 traces a brief history of Israel, starting with their founding father, Abraham all the way up to their present time. This passage provides an excellent summary, capturing several of the historical highlights for this nation. Notice, however, the commentary regarding this history; namely, that God is faithful in fulfilling promises, righteous, and just (underline every time the passage mentions God, usually by the pronoun “you”). Conversely, Israel as a nation continually rebelled against God by disregarding the Law which he gave.
In chapter 9 of Nehemiah, some of the Levites (the tribe God gave as priests for Israel) begin leading them in worship and prayer. This prayer that begins in verse 5 recounts Israel’s history starting with adoration towards God as Creator (6), then the choosing of Abram (Abraham), and progressing through the time in which these people lived. This brief history, repeatedly recounting God’s actions and faithfulness, leads the Levites to the correct conclusion that “It is we who have been in the wrong” (33, NET).
Although Israel’s history is full of hurt, this chapter reminds me of the Rascal Flatts song, God Bless the Broken Road. Although this song is about a romantic relationship; metaphorically it’s a pretty good analogy for humanities pursuit of sin and its ultimate lack of fulfillment. What sins or unworthy pursuits have captured your heart leading you down an increasingly broken road? May it be that we echo as a prayer of repentance when facing the consequences of our sin, “God bless the broken road that led me straight to you (Lord).”
It can be hard to admit our sins to God and say as Israel did, “You [God] have acted faithfully. It is I who have been in the wrong!” However, God is not blind to your sin, he already knows and as it says in 1 John 1:9, “But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.” (NET)
Share in the comments: what difficulties or parts of the “broken road” have you seen lead you straight to the Lord?
By: Tyler Short —Connections Ministry Associate