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God Never Gives Up

How do you picture God? Is He the man upstairs looking to punish the next wrongdoing? Or do you picture Him as full of grace and forgiveness?  

Many people think of God as vengeful and punishing. But Nehemiah’s account of Israel’s history tells a different story.  

God rescued the Israelites from bondage by parting the Red Sea, leading them to the Promised Land, and making a covenant with their ancestors. When they were hungry, they saw bread fall from the sky.

You would think Israel would be forever grateful. But instead, Nehemiah describes them as arrogant. They failed to obey commands and forgot the miracles God performed among them. Even after seeing massive body of water part before their very eyes!

God had every right to punish Israel, but instead He showed them grace. Though there were consequences to their sin, He never abandoned them. He relentlessly pursued them with compassion, love, and protection.

Israel’s story is our story. Even when we are sinful, God pursues us, acting justly and faithfully, even when we do wrong. Though God’s best for us doesn’t include sin or the consequences associated with it, He is not scared of our mess.  He meets us right in the middle of it.

Nehemiah thanks God for His mercy despite the Israelites’ sin. And hundreds of years later, God sends the greatest gift of all in Jesus. God chooses these people with their messy past to introduce the Savior of the world to the world – a perfect example of His forgiveness and grace.

Reflect:

  • Has there been a time when you felt closer to God than you do right now?
  • What happened to change that? Is there sin in your life you need to confess and turn away from?  
  • How does looking at your current situation through the lens of God’s grace, change your perspective?

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