Read Nehemiah 1
Focus on verses 8-9
As a collective body it seems humanity has a surprisingly short memory, particularly about things that involve obedience to God. As we read the Old Testament record, we find that the people of Israel seemed to be notoriously forgetful when it came to these matters. They were repeatedly reminded of the covenant God had made with them, and they repeatedly abandoned it.
In this opening chapter of Nehemiah, Nehemiah is reminding God of this covenant, admitting that the people have not upheld their end of the agreement, but also reminding God of His promise to gather those that He has scattered if they repent and return to keeping His commands once again.
In the prayer Nehemiah “reminds God” of his promise, which seems strange since God is not the one who forgets. Why would God need to be reminded of a promise He has not forgotten? Perhaps the reminder is not so much seeking to remind God of his promise, as it is to remind Nehemiah that God never forgets His promises, and is consistently faithful to keep them.
Perhaps it is also recorded here for us, not to remind God that He made a promise, but to remind us that He always keeps His promises. These promises are principles that are as consistent today as they were in the days of Nehemiah. Our faithfulness in regard to walking in obedience to God and His calling upon our life continues to have consequences. Faithfulness to God has benefits that unfaithfulness does not have. The benefits may not always be immediately obvious, and ultimately the greatest return on faithfulness to God is realized in eternal value rather than temporal value. There may often be times when the temporal costs of faithfulness are greater than the temporal benefits, but if we could catch a clearer glimpse of the eternal benefits we would realize that they easily outweigh even the highest temporal inconveniences.
The things I find I need reminders of most often are; first of all that it’s not about me, and second that eternity is something I can’t entirely wrap my head around, and that I should not expect to, nor do I need to, understand it fully in order to believe it.