I am reading through Nehemiah currently. The other day, as I read Nehemiah 9, I was blown away by the contrast between God's way and man's way. In context, the wall of Jerusalem has now been rebuilt, and Ezra, the priest, stands before the people of God to read the Word of the Lord. Upon hearing the Word, the people lift their hands and worship God. Then, they bow low to the ground in worship. The Levites read the history of Israel to the people. It is in this passage that God is exalted. Listen to some of the descriptions of God:
Blessed be your glorious name...
You made the heavens...
You give life to everything.
You are the Lord God, who chose Abram...
You found his heart faithful to you...
You made a covenant with him.
You have kept your promise because you are righteous.
You saw the suffering of your people.
You heard their cry.
You sent miraculous signs..
You came down on Mount Sinai; you spoke to them from heaven.
You gave them bread from heaven.
Because of Your great compassion you did not abandon them in the desert.
You gave your good spirit to instruct them.
You sustained them in the desert.
You gave them kingdoms...
You made their sons as numerous as the stars.
You brought them into the land.
Notice all the great things God did? Now listen to the response of the people of God:
They became arrogant and stiff-necked and did not obey your commands.
They refused to listen.
They failed to remember the miracles you performed among them.
They cast for themselves an image of a calf and worshiped it.
They rebelled against you.
They put your law behind their backs.
They killed your prophets.
They committed awful blasphemies.
Are you starting to see the same picture I am? Can you see that God is faithful even to those who do not deserve it? He always has been, and He still is today.
Listen to this verse:
"God demonstrates His own love toward us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8
To this day I do not understand how and why God is so merciful to us. How He could love the unlovable is baffling. Still, I celebrate and rejoice in His grace and mercy in my life. I hope that as we approach Easter Sunday, you'll be reminded that God loves you. He sent His Son to die on your behalf - not because you deserved it - but because He is good. Do you know the One who died for you?