Weekly Reflection – The Great Promise Keeper

Weekly Reflection – The Great Promise Keeper

You are the Lord, You alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and You preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships You. You are the Lord, the 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 with him the covenant to give to his offspring the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite. And You have kept your promise, for You are righteous.

— Nehemiah 9:5-8

After celebrating the reestablished Feast of Tabernacles, the Israelites separated themselves from non-believers and gathered for a solemn assembly (Nehemiah 9:1-2). The ceremony included reading the Book of the Law for approximately three hours, followed by another three hours of confessing their sins and the sins of their fathers, and finally ending in praise and worship to the Lord for His faithful provision.

The Hebrew word for confession, yadah, has a two-fold meaning. It signifies the acknowledgment of sin, but it can also mean “to praise” as a result of recognizing God’s greatness and power. God’s people did both as they reflected on Israel’s salvation story.

This beautiful prayer of praise summarizes a vital element of Israel’s history: God’s faithfulness. It chronicles God’s mercy and grace to the Israelites, even when they fell short of the mark. At every turn God supplied their needs, defeated their enemies, and was
committed to His covenant; that is a promise we can rely on today.