- Nehemiah 13:1-22
- Psalm 92
- Nehemiah 13:23-31
Oh, the people of Israel. Over and over again they fell into the same sins. Over and over again, a leader or prophet was raised up to call them to repentance. It had to be frustrating for those who continued to follow the Lord even as their countrymen fell into spiritual peril. You can nearly hear the frustration in Nehemiah’s voice as he works to reestablish the Levites in the temple, as he cleanses the temple, and as he takes the people to task for disobeying again.
A truth about mankind is this: the temptation to fall back into old ways can override any good intention one may have. Just look at new year’s resolutions, and one can clearly see how the inertia of the old ways can overtake the shallow-seeded motivation of a new resolution. The same is true in spiritual lives. Years of sinful living, years of looking at the world from one perspective, creates momentum in a direction that is different than where your new resolution may need you to go. But take heart. Just as the Israelites were called back again and again, you can come back again and again. Take heart that the God of all mercy has mercy enough for you too.