1On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads. 2 Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. (Nehemiah 9:1 – 2, New International Version)
Theme: The Local Church
Thank you for taking the time to consider the questions about the local church and prayer yesterday. As always we are truly grateful for the comments.
As we continue with the Discipline of Prayer we will be looking at Nehemiah again just as we did last week while considering Bible Study. Nehemiah presents a great Old Testament example of what can occur in a corporate setting when God is obeyed.
Today’s passage is Nehemiah 9:1 – 2 (presented above). The passage is a subset of a much longer prayer in Nehemiah chapter 9. We know from last week that God worked miraculously during this time for the Children of Israel, and it is no surprise that prayer was a key activity for the assembly. What is striking about the short passage we are considering today is the confessing community. Their confession seems to be much deeper than the generic confessions we often experience in corporate church settings.
- What do you believe are key variables that would have contributed to the public confession by the Children of Israel?
- What lessons can we extract for ourselves and our local churches?