Biblical Prayer; June 2, 2021

Nehemiah 1:8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses.”

This whole prayer could hardly be more Biblical. It is entirely focused on God and what He has said, rather than on some sort of wish list. It also definitively answers a doubt I will confess to having had even as a boy. I first read through the Bible by the time I was 10, and pretty early on it struck me that what Moses said about the Israelites going into exile and repenting was remarkably specific and accurate as to the historical facts as we know them, and I thought they might have been added by a later editor after those things came to pass. However, here we have Nehemiah quoting that very passage, (Deu­teronomy 30:4) asking God to fulfill what He had promised. The Bible is remarkably consistent, confirming itself in various ways, even though it was written, and yes, edited, by many different people over many centuries. God has kept watch over His Word, and that’s all the more reason to receive and believe it. Those who love to quibble and split hairs do so because at heart, they don’t want to obey it. It is far wiser and more fruitful to do what Nehemiah did, taking it to heart even when it calls for repentance – or especially then – so that we may also enjoy the gracious promises of blessing. It may seem like the Bible isn’t very specific to us today, but that is hardly the case. Human beings haven’t really changed! We need to realize that it is talking about us and to us, and that there are many prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled. Many people today feel we are at some stage of the events described in the Revelation to John, but that’s far from the whole picture. We need to take the Bible in as God’s Word to us right now, and even pray it back to Him as Nehemiah did, so that we may participate in His plans for us, for our great blessing and His glory.

It’s interesting to realize that even with my background I have “put asterisks on” some places in the Bible. I am not to be legalistic, but I am certainly not to place myself above the words of Scripture. We indeed live in “interesting times,” as the saying goes, and it could well be the culmination of all things. That’s all the more reason to be faithful to God and what He has already said. He does speak to us daily in many ways, but a deep familiarity with what He has already said is one of the best defenses against the various lying spirits that are certainly infesting society. I am never to think I know the Bible well enough! As Paul said, I need to let it dwell in me richly (Colossians 3:16) so that it may accomplish in and through me that for which God sent it out, (Isaiah 55:10-11) for His pleasure and glory.

Father, thank You for this powerful reminder. Help me indeed let Your Word operate in and through me more and more, by Your Spirit and not by my intellect, so that Your rule and reign may be established and Your will be done, as perfectly here as it is in heaven, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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