from Lynda Lindsey
In their hunger you gave them bread from heaven and in their thirst you brought them water from the rock… Nehemiah 9:15(a)
You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. Nehemiah 9:20(a)
In all that has happened to us, you have been just ; you have acted faithfully, while we did wrong. Nehemiah 9:33
After a week of joyous celebration and feasting, living in booths, and reading daily from the book of the Law, a solemn assembly was held; the Israelites, convicted by the Law, confessed, mourned their sins, and worshiped God. Reviewing God’s long history of goodness, patience, and faithfulness to His people in the face of their oft continued sin and rebelliousness, they renewed their vows to obey God. Joyous celebrations accompanied the dedication of Jerusalem’s wall and Nehemiah continued extensive reforms to rebuild and restore not just a city, but the spiritual vitality of the nation. Twelve years after Nehemiah’s arrival in Jerusalem he made a return trip to Babylon; when he next came home to Jerusalem he found his people once again mired in sin and disobedience.
A sad story, indeed, of a people who quickly forgot the goodness and faithfulness of God. Indeed, it is our story as well. To neglect our spiritual development, to take our eyes away from God, even for a moment, invites disaster. Just as damage from water continuously dripping on stone isn’t quickly noticed, sin’s destructiveness may not be readily apparent until great damage has already occurred. Once we’ve compromised God’s standard of holiness, it becomes easier to take the path of least resistance until, little by little, we have forsaken God. No matter how hard we work or how determined we are, we are unable to save ourselves, which is exactly why we need a Redeemer who is not just willing, but able, to save us from our sin and restore us to wholeness. It’s not turning over a new leaf; it’s being totally made over into a new creation in Christ Jesus.
Jesus, bread of heaven. Bread of life. Jesus, living water. Satisfying water. God’s good Spirit, the Helper, the One who comes alongside. The Holy Spirit, who dwells with us and is in us, forever. Come to Jesus, eat freely from His lavishly appointed feast; drink from His overflowing cup of blessings and never hunger and thirst again. Walk life’s path in company with God’s good Spirit, who teaches us and gives us insight, truth, and power to live God’s ways. That small nudge of doubt about a course of action? That little hint of unease? God’s good Spirit at work in our life, coming to our aid. Heed His good counsel. Review all God’s goodness and faithfulness. Walk in truth, His Truth. Refuse compromise. Stay the course. You’ll not regret it!