“Now, therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to you that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day. Yet you have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly. Our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept your law or paid attention to your commandments and your warnings that you gave them. Even in their own kingdom, and amid your great goodness that you gave them, and in the large and rich land that you set before them, they did not serve you or turn from their wicked works. Behold, we are slaves this day; in the land that you gave to our fathers to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts, behold, we are slaves. And its rich yield goes to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins. They rule over our bodies and over our livestock as they please, and we are in great distress.
“Because of all this we make a firm covenant in writing; on the sealed document are the names of our princes, our Levites, and our priests.
“The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants, and all who have separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, their daughters, all who have knowledge and understanding, join with their brothers, their nobles, and enter into a curse and an oath to walk in God's Law that was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord and his rules and his statutes.
—Nehemiah 9:32-38; 10:28-29
by: Tabatha Pethtel.
The Israelites confessed their sins and the wickedness of their fathers. They had acknowledged that, in spite of their disobedience, the Lord had remained steadfast. Here they admitted that their current circumstances were the result of their ancestors’ sinful choices. They re-committed themselves to God’s covenant and asked for rough treatment if they did not keep their promise to uphold God’s Law and be obedient. Though they were sincere, they undoubtedly failed in the end. It is only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and by taking on His righteousness that we hold up our end of the covenant.