THEY STOOD AND CONFESSED THEIR SINS.
NEHEMIAH 9:2 NCV
Max Lucado writes: ‘Upon hearing that Jerusalem lay in ruins, Nehemiah prayed ‘I confess the sins we Israelites have done against you’ (Nehemiah 1:6 NCV). The most powerful man in the country is saying that before they can rebuild, they must repent. What a scene; loads of people spending time praying; not making excuses or requests, but asking God for forgiveness for how they’ve done things so far. Just imagine, the leaders of government, business, law, entertainment and education doing that? Could it happen? But it starts with you. ‘If My people…will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will…heal their land’ (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV). The nation changes when God’s people change. We can be so opinionated about when other people are get it wrong, but we tend to go quiet when it comes to what’s wrong with us. We feel like the man in the prayer meeting, who prayed ‘God; I thank you that this country has people like me. The man on the corner needs welfare, I don’t. The prostitute on the street has AIDS, I don’t. The drunk at the bar needs alcohol, I don’t’. Next to him is a broken man who humbly whispers ‘Lord, like my brother on welfare, I’m dependent on your grace. Like my sister with AIDS, I’m infected with mistakes. Like my friend who needs a drink, I need something to ease my pain. Have mercy on me, a sinner’. After telling a story like that Jesus said, ‘I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God’ (Luke 18:14 NIV).’