I try to read the bible every day. It’s something I have done faithfully since January. Daily Scripture reading has made all the difference in my walk with God. Not trying to be super spiritual, but I even read my every Sunday; well most every Sunday.
Yesterday, my roommate’s parents were visiting, so we hung out. We went out for lunch and dinner. I worked a little on my computer. We went to a show and then came home and packed for the Exodus Freedom Conference in California. When the packing was complete, I managed to squeeze in an hour and half catnap, before it was off to MCO to board my plane.
So the plane takes off. I pull my bible out and then it hits me. I FORGOT TO READ YESTERDAY!!! This was troublesome considering that meant doubling up on Old Testament reading. My brain had gone from Stephan Hawking on Sunday to Jessica Simpson on Monday. Reading was tough already, but when Nehemiah started naming and counting the guys who’d been carried away in captivity, my eyes went into manual shutdown mode. I took a break and decided to read it on my connecting flight.
Wouldn’t you know it, God even had a plan for splitting up my readings. Before I read part 2, my mind was ablaze with questions for God. I recently quit my job and have gone into full time ministry. I trust God, but I have never really tested that statement as much as I am these days. God provides for me daily, but I’d like to see the whole budget in front of me instead of little by little. Naturally, I began to question, “God, how are You going to provide?” “God, will You provide?” “When?” “How?” “What?” I think I even wondered where scripture concerning provision might be found, because I really needed to read it. Then I began to read Nehemiah Chapter 9. And my heart began to melt.
As I came across Nehemiah 9:3, conviction flooded my heart. It says “And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for one fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshipped the Lord their God. I get antsy if I spend 45 minutes combined, let alone half a day. Then it was if God was saying oh and by the way Matthew, let me remind you of My resume.
God’s Resume: A Summation of Nehemiah 9
Stand up and bless the Lord your God. Forever and ever! Blessed be Your Glorious Name. You alone are the Lord. You have made heaven. The earth and everything on it. The Seas and all that is within them. And you preserve them all. You are the Lord God who chose Abram. And brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans. And gave him the name Abraham. You found his heart faithful before You and made a covenant with him. For You are righteous. You saw the affliction of our father’s in Egypt. And heard their cry by the Red Sea. You showed signs and wonders against Pharaoh. And You divided the sea before them. You led them by day with a cloudy pillar. And by night with a pillar of fire, to give them light on the road which they should travel. You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger. And brought them water out of the rock for their thirst. And told them to go in to possess the land which You had sworn to give them. But You are God, Ready to Pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness and did not forsake them. You also gave Your good spirit to instruct them. And did not withhold your manna from their mouth. And gave them water for their thirst. Forty years You sustained them in the wilderness. They lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell. And they took strong cities and a rich land and possessed houses full of all goods, cisterns already dug, vineyards, olive groves, and fruit trees in abundance. For You are God, gracious and merciful.
After all that, scripture says this of the Israelites, “Nevertheless they were disobedient.”
Father, thank you for answering my prayer and squashing my doubts, with a loving response. And Father thank you that the response was found in scripture. Lord, I will not doubt your provision. I pray that someone else needed to hear this today. God I pray that you guard our hearts against disobedience. Open our eyes to what you have prepared for us today. We praise you God for the love that goes into each situation you allow in our lives. All I can say is Thank you Father. You are merciful.