Always Merciful

But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments,  And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.

Nehemiah 9:16-17

It seems like every book of the Old Testament contains a record of God’s people rejecting His and somehow rebelling.  And it seems like every book of the Old Testament contains a record of God not forsaking His people and of Him having mercy on them.  Nehemiah is no different.

The book of Nehemiah begins with the sad story of the walls of the once-great city of Jerusalem being broken down.  It was a reproach to God’s name and God’s people.  And it was because God’s people had rebelled and had, according to verse 16 and 17, “hardened their necks.”  They rejected God and they rejected His attempts to reconcile them to Himself.  Over and over they rebelled and rejected Him.  And that is why the walls of the city were in ruins.  But God did not forget His people. 

Even in the midst of their rebellion, God did not forsake them (vs 17).  He is described here as a God “ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.”  Now, it is true that they paid for their rebellion.  They paid dearly.  They were taken captive and their city was destroyed.  But when they turned to the Lord, He had mercy.  He allowed them to rebuild the wall.  It is the same for us: when we find the walls of our lives broken down and in disrepair, we need only to turn to Him.  He is still ready to pardon.  He is still gracious.  He is still slow to anger.  He is still merciful.  And He will still not forsake us.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Ben, I like this line: “Now, it is true that they paid for their rebellion. They paid dearly.” It is the same for us. We cannot often escape the natural consequences of our rebellion and sin. Because of our sin, we can find the walls of our lives broken down, our lives in shambles. But if we turn to Him, God does not hold our sin against us and so we are able, because of His grace, to escape the spiritual consequences of our rebellion and sin. Such mercy is beyond comprehension and the core of the hope that we have in Him. Peace, Linda

    Reply

    • I know that I have (and am) paying for some of my rebellion against Him. But, like you said, His mercy is the core of the hope that we have in Him. I am so thankful for His mercy!

      Reply

  2. I always loved how every time the people turned back to God, He was always right there to forgive them and bless them. How I need to hear that and know of His loving kindness on those days I am stiff-necked and have messed up. God bless you as you continue to bless us! 🙂

    Reply

    • I love that too! He is so good, if we will only turn to Him and keep our eyes on Him. It seems like most days I have bouts with being “stiffnecked” and “messing up.” (I think we all do) 🙂 But He is still merciful if we will turn back to Him.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: