Wednesday, July 08, 2015

It's All About Him

God is great and he treats me way better than I deserve.

Nehemiah 9:2  Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners as they confessed their own sins and the sins of their ancestors.

Nehemiah 9:6-10  "You alone are the LORD. You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars. You made the earth and the seas and everything in them. You preserve them all, and the angels of heaven worship You.

"You are the LORD God, who chose Abram and brought him from Ur of the Chaldeans and renamed him Abraham.  When he had proved himself faithful, You made a covenant with him to give him and his descendants the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites, and Girgashites. And You have done what You promised, for You are always true to Your word.

"You saw the misery of our ancestors in Egypt, and You heard their cries from beside the Red Sea.  10  You displayed miraculous signs and wonders against Pharaoh, his officials, and all his people, for You knew how arrogantly they were treating our ancestors. You have a glorious reputation that has never been forgotten."

This may seem like a very obvious point and hardly worth repeating but as prideful as we humans are it is a point worth saying again. God is great and I don't deserve the benefits of his greatness. He is Jehovah, the one and only true and living God, he is the one that the angels worship. He is the creator of everything and yet he loves us above all of his creation.

I am reminding myself of these facts because I am very much like the Israelites that Nehemiah was working with and I bet that you are very much like them too. All of us have seen the goodness of God and we have seen how magnificent his creation is and yet we ignore what we already know about him.

In his sovereignty he choose a man and his ancestors to be his people, to be the people that would be a witness for God, to be the lineage of our Savior. A man and his descendants that were nothing special that God should choose them over any other people. They would prove that fact over and over again.

God led his people through difficulty (Nehemiah 9:7-9)

First he invited Abraham to leave home, we don't fully get that today, our travels are so comfortable that we don't comprehend what that was like. Then there was Joseph and Moses, they were forced out of their homes, Moses went to live in the desert and Joseph wound up in Egypt.

God showed his glory to his people (Nehemiah 9:10-12)

Why were they in Egypt for so long? If you think about it this is the first great display of God's power and glory since the flood. I think they needed to see God's power to help them in future battles.
Exodus 18:10-12  "Praise the LORD," Jethro said, "for He has rescued you from the Egyptians and from Pharaoh. Yes, He has rescued Israel from the powerful hand of Egypt!  I know now that the LORD is greater than all other gods, because He rescued His people from the oppression of the proud Egyptians."  Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God. Aaron and all the elders of Israel came out and joined him in a sacrificial meal in God's presence.
Moses' father-in-law was impressed with the display of God's power against the Egyptians. The word about what God had done to the Egyptians was spread all over the ancient world and the inhabitants of the Promised Land were scared of God's people when they got there.

God taught his people (Nehemiah 9:13-14)

The people were given instructions directly from this powerful God on how to please him. Over and over again they broke their covenant that they swore to him. God was so patient with them and sent more people to give them warnings but they refused to change. God was always patient with his people and slow to anger. (Nehemiah 9:31)

God sustained his people (Nehemiah 9:15)

The wandered around the desert for a long time, much longer than the trip requires, they always had food and water and their clothes never worn out. He was without question their sole provider, there wasn't any way to exist in the desert for that long without some divine assistance.
God's People Walk Away
Nehemiah 9:16-17  "But our ancestors were proud and stubborn, and they paid no attention to Your commands. They refused to obey and did not remember the miracles You had done for them. Instead, they became stubborn and appointed a leader to take them back to their slavery in Egypt! But You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love. You did not abandon them.
As much as they had experienced of God's mercy and grace and the great display they had witnessed they still walk away. God's children have been doing the same thing ever since. We never have stopped seeking out our own way. (Isaiah 53:6, 1 Peter 2:25)

God patiently waits on me and no matter how difficult the rebuke from him seems it is nowhere close to what I deserve. When I am in distress and live is hard I need to ask myself if God is trying to change me. Many times he uses the difficult times that we hate to draw us closer to him.
Nehemiah 9:33 Every time You punished us You were being just. We have sinned greatly, and You gave us only what we deserved.
Lord I have seen your power and goodness and I know that you treat me way better than I deserve. Your power and glory have been displayed in my life and I am without excuse for walking away from your instructions. Forgive me for being so ungrateful!