This Bible study was taught at Lakeside Advent Christian Campground on July 30th, 2021.
Session 5 – 20210730
I am going to be reflecting on some Old Testament verses that explain how our God demonstrates his love to us.
My overall theme is simple: God loves us. If you believe that, you will be cheering on these messages. But if your faith in the biblical God as a loving God has been challenged, I hope you will be encouraged by these studies.
Today’s text is Nehemiah 9:22-23 CSB
Nehemiah 9:22-23 You gave them kingdoms and peoples and established boundaries for them. They took possession of the land of King Sihon of Heshbon and of the land of King Og of Bashan. You multiplied their descendants like the stars of the sky and brought them to the land you told their ancestors to go in and possess.
Notice the four things that this prayer claims about what God did.
- God gave the Israelites kingdoms and peoples
- God established boundaries for them.
- God multiplied the descendants of Israel like the stars of the sky.
- God brought them to the promised land.
Notice the commission that God gave the Israelites
- God told their ancestors to go in and possess.
Notice the preliminary victories that God allowed the Israelites to experience.
- They took possession of the land of King Sihon of Heshbon and of the land of King Og of Bashan.
Remember the description of God from verse 17.
- a forgiving God,
- and compassionate,
- slow to anger
- and abounding in faithful love
All of the things that God gave the Israelites are consistent with his character as described in that verse.
When we pray to God, we need a prayer attitude that matches the truths pointed out in this prayer from Nehemiah.
• He is סְלִיחָה selichah – forgiving. He chooses to overlook our acts of blatant rebellion and ignorant foolishness, instead of giving us the immediate destruction they deserve.
• He is חַנּוּן channun – gracious. He chooses to be generous when he sees one of his creatures in need.
• He is רָחוּם rachum – compassionate. He acts with mercy, not giving us the condemnation we deserve, and he feels that compassion.
• He is אֶֽרֶךְ־אַפַּ֥יִם erech ‘appayim – long in the nostrils. That is what it says literally. It takes some explanation.
• He abounds in חֶסֶד chesed – faithful love. This is God’s covenant faithfulness.
In fact, the deliverance in Egypt may tell us even more about God’s covenant faithfulness. The blood on the doorpost and lintels may be a direct reference to it. It may have spelled out ח the first letter in chesed .
Also, when we face a challenge, we need to rehearse in prayer all the preliminary victories that God has already brought us through.
And we need to express faith that we – with God’s help – can accomplish the commission that he has given us.
God loves us. This is foundational for living the Christian life, and for facing the commission that he has charged us with.