Nehemiah 1:7 God’s Spotlight of Conviction


Nehemiah 1:7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

Few things reveal our sin like a stressful situation.

It is like a 1,000 lumen spotlight that God, through the Holy Spirit’s conviction, shines directly on our disobedience. Sometimes it is a sinful action that we knew existed for a long time but didn’t want anyone to notice, other times it is something we may not even be aware of. Why the sin is there doesn’t really matter though.

What matters is it’s there, and God wants us to do something about it.

Nehemiah in 1:7 offers a heartfelt confession to God including not only the Jews still at Jerusalem, but himself as well.

It would have been easy for Nehemiah to pass the blame here

  1. He wasn’t actually in Jerusalem at the time that it’s walls were torn down.
  2. He probably wouldn’t have allowed things to stay that way if he was there.
  3. Nobody had told him about the problems at Jerusalem
  4. And he was very busy serving the king, so he couldn’t be expected to keep up with news from there

But instead of making excuses in this situation, Nehemiah stepped up and took ownership of his failure. While there are a few possible reasons for this confession, he probably included himself because the busyness of work there had caused him to overlook the Jews

The application is simple…own our mistakes

While owning our mistakes is a simple thing to do, its of course actually very difficult.

It’s easier to ignore or drown out the voice of the Holy Spirits conviction acting as if He isn’t there.

Or make excuses about why we can’t do that work today [i’ll definitely do it tomorrow]

or compromise with God by giving a half-hearted obedience, while ignoring the true surgery that needs to be done

sadly it’s only after the spotlight of Gods conviction blazes upon our sinful actions that we actually own up to them.

How much easier would it be to confess and repent before God has to break us?

God Himself doesn’t want to break us over sin, which is why He begins with the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. Its only after we ignore the loving voice of the shepherd that calamity comes.

Nobody enjoys owning their failures. But it’s much better to do confess what you and God both know willingly than to do it because of His discipline


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