ESSAY-LIKE SUNDAY MORNING: GOD’S COVENANT WITH THE RETURNED EXILES

Today’s lesson was entitled, GOD’S COVENANT WITH THE RETURNED EXILES. The Scripture was from, Nehemiah 9:32-38. The KEY VERSE was verse 33 which reads, “In all that has happened to us, you have remained righteous; you have acted faithfully, while we acted wickedly. (NIV)”

 

Here is the rest of the Scripture from our lesson today:

 

“Now therefore, our God, the great God, mighty and awesome, who keeps his covenant of love, do not let all this hardship seem trifling in your eyes—the hardship that has come on us, on our kings and leaders, on our priests and prophets, on our ancestors and all your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria until today.

33 In all that has happened to us, you have remained righteous; you have acted faithfully, while we acted wickedly.

34 Our kings, our leaders, our priests and our ancestors did not follow your law; they did not pay attention to your commands or the statutes you warned them to keep.

35 Even while they were in their kingdom, enjoying your great goodness to them in the spacious and fertile land you gave them, they did not serve you or turn from their evil ways.

36 “But see, we are slaves today, slaves in the land you gave our ancestors so they could eat its fruit and the other good things it produces.

37 Because of our sins, its abundant harvest goes to the kings you have placed over us. They rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please. We are in great distress.

38 “In view of all this, we are making a binding agreement, putting it in writing, and our leaders, our Levites and our priests are affixing their seals to it.” Nehemiah 9:32-38

 SUBTITLE:

THE LONGEST PRAYER

These verses and the one’s prior to these, are said to be one of the longest prayers in the Bible. It is notable that we pray our best prayers; our most earnest prayers, and even our longest prayers when we are in a jam.

 

Here’s a little poem I found in Outpost magazine:

 

“The proper way for man to pray,” said Deacon Lemuel Keyes;

“The only proper attitude is down upon his knees.”

“Nay, I should say the way to pray,” said Reverend Doctor Wise,

“Is standing straight with outstretched arms with rapt and upturned eyes.”

“Oh, no, no, no,” said Elder Snow, “such posture is too proud.”

A man should pray with eyes fast-closed and head contritely bowed.”

“It seems to me his hands should be austerely clasped in front.

With both thumbs pointing to the ground,” said Reverend Doctor Blunt.”

“Last year I fell in Hodgkin’s well headfirst,” said Cyril Brown.

“With both my heels a-stickin’ up, my head a-pointing’ down;

And I done prayed right then and there; best prayer I ever said,

The prayin’est prayer I ever prayed, a-standin’ on my head.”

(unknown author)

 

Sometimes we’re like the Nehemiah and the Israelites, who prayed their longest prayer while enslaved. Sometimes we’re like Cyril Brown, we do our best praying standing on our heads.

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