Return to the Father
By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte
Nehemiah 9:14-17 (CJB) Complete Jewish Bible
“You revealed to them your holy Shabbat (Sabboth) and gave them mitzvot (Commandments), laws and the Torah through Moshe (Moses) your servant. “‘For their hunger you gave them bread from heaven; for their thirst you brought forth for them water from the rock. You ordered them to enter and possess the land you had sworn with your hand to give them. “‘But they and our ancestors were arrogant; they stiffened their necks and ignored your mitzvoth (Commands), they refused to listen and paid no attention to the wonders you had done among them. No, they stiffened their necks, and in their rebellion
appointed a leader to return them to their slavery. But because you are a God of forgiveness,merciful, full of compassion, slow to grow angry and full of grace, you did not abandon them.”
Verses 14 and 15 is a re-telling of God’s provision for His people during their time in the wilderness. This is the time God gave them his commandments and the law. Which tells us how perfect He is. What a beautiful reminder of how God’s love for His people. Not only does He show us the way to go, but He also provides for us along the way. In all of wandering in the dessert, the people never went hungry or thirsty. They learned not only to trust in His provision, but they also needed to trust in His goodness.
In verse 16 and 17 Nehemiah recounts that even as God provided for His people in miraculous ways, the leaders acted arrogantly and refused to listen to His word. They even appointed a leader to return them back to slavery in Egypt. Yet in the midst of rebellion, God forgave, and was slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness. God, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, will do the same for us. No matter how much we rebel, sin and go our own way, when we return to Him, He will forgive and restore us.
He will never leave us or forsake us.
What can we learn from Nehemiah?
- Watch what leaders we are following.
- Appoint leaders who will take us in the direction we want to go.
- Trust God’s provision and His goodness for your life.
- God is glorious, full of forgiveness and loving kindness. It’s never too late to return to Him.
Not only do we need to watch who we put into leadership, we need to become leaders who will guide people to the Father. Be the leader who will remind people that God will be waiting with open arms when they run to Him.
Luke 15:20-24 (CJB)
“So he got up and started back to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran and threw his arms around him and kissed him warmly. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son ’ but his father said to his slaves, ‘Quick, bring out a robe, the best one, and put it on him; and put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet; and bring the calf that has been fattened up, and kill it. Let’s eat and have a celebration! For this son of mine was dead, but now he’s alive again! He was lost, but now he has been found!’ And they began celebrating.”
What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?
- What as God provided for me recently that I haven’t stopped and thanked Him?
- In what way have I rejected what God has given me and am seeking human leadership instead of the loving Guidance of God?
- Who am I following should stop and turn the other direction?
- What sin to I need to turn from and run to the Father?
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