A Study in Nehemiah

God of Compassion and Provision

By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte

Nehemiah 9:18-21 (CJB) Complete Jewish Bible

“Even when they cast themselves a metal calf, saying of it, “This is your god
that brought you up from Egypt,” and committing other gross provocations;
 still, you, in your great compassion, did not abandon them in the desert.
The column of cloud did not leave them by day; it kept leading them along the way.
By night the column of fire kept showing them light and the path to take.
 You also gave your good Spirit to teach them, did not withhold man from their mouths and provided them water to quench their thirst.  Yes, forty years you sustained them in the desert; they lacked nothing —their clothes did not wear out; their feet did not swell up.” 

silhouette photo of mountain during golden hour

During the dedication of the walls, Ezra the high priest read from the book of the law, then he reminded the Israelite people of God’s amazing provision for them through the years. Verses 18-19 are an example of God’s mercy and grace. Even after the people created a golden calf and worshiped the idol as the “god” who brought them out of Egypt, God still had compassion on them and did not abandon them. Instead, he provided for them a pillar of cloud during the day and of fire by night to lead and guide them through the desert.

The God who had mercy and compassion on his people then, is the same God who has mercy and compassion on us today. It doesn’t matter what you might have done, return to the Father, and He will lead you and guide you just as He did for his people all those years ago.

Verses 20 and 21 tell us that God gave his Spirit to teach His people. God also not only provided the basics such as food and water, He also sustained them by miraculously keeping their clothing from wearing out. In fact, the word says they lacked for nothing. Even after all of the grumbling and complaining, God did not withhold any necessity in life, and provided the most important gift they could ever receive. His Spirit.

Dear Friend, God will do the same for you, all you need to do is ask.

What can we learn from Nehemiah?

  • Repent daily and seek God’s forgiveness. He is compassionate and ready to forgive.
  • Seek God’s guidance. He will give you His light (which is the Holy Spirit) to follow.
  • God truly is slow to anger and great in His compassion.
  • He will provide our every need.
  • God truly is slow to anger and great is compassion. Do not turn away, and seek the Holy Spirit. He will provide.

woman praying beside tree

Psalm 145:7-9 (CJB) Complete Jewish Bible

 “They will gush forth the fame of your abounding goodness, and they will sing of your righteousness.  Adonai is merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and great in grace. Adonai is good to all; his compassion rests on all his creatures.”

What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?

  1. What have I made into an idol and put before God?
  2. Is there anything I’ve done that I wonder if God will still have compassion on me?
  3. Do I worry if God will provide all that I need?
  4. What can I do to be more thankful for what God has already provided?
  5. What can I do to be better at acknowledging where my provisions come from?


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