Analysis Of Nehemiah: Confession For The Breaking Of Covenant

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Confession for the Breaking of Covenant (vv.5-7)
After his passionate reaction to the news, Nehemiah turns to God in prayer demonstrating his faith in God. In the prayer, Nehemiah reveals to us the true origin of the crisis in Jerusalem. He had insight that the crisis was not just about the shame and reproach the people nor was it about the broken walls but about a broken covenant and a broken relationship. To Nehemiah, God is “the covenant God who both makes and preserves the covenant with his people.” In making the covenant with His people God did not just desire to make a business contract with them but He wanted to enter in a relationship with His people. Nehemiah acknowledges ‘God’s faithfulness to His covenant and to those who are faithful
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Nehemiah does not deny this fact but appeals to God to listen to Him in spite of the unfaithfulness of his people. In stating his case, Nehemiah uses the words servant (עֶבֶד, ebed) and servants six times in the passage referring “to himself (1:6, 11), to Moses (1:8), and also to the people (1: 6, 10, 11).” The word עֶבֶד has a wide semantic range of meaning which include: “a servant of a household, a worshipper of God, servant in a special sense, Israel as a people and also in polite address of equals or superiors.” According to Brown, Driver and Briggs, the use of the word in verse 8 in reference to Moses means worshipper of God. Israel as God’s servants had been chosen with a mission to be a witness of God to the nations around them. But again we see that they did not fulfill what God had called them to do. This contrasts heavily with Moses who is referred to as a worshipper of God. Nehemiah himself is overwhelmed by the sovereignty of God and his use of this word in reference to himself that he is one who is totally submitted to God. Nehemiah invokes the Mosaic covenant and establishes that this is the nation God constituted for a purpose and even though they have failed to fulfill …show more content…
Old Testament narratives usually give very scanty details, so when a detail is highlighted it means it a detail the author wants us to be aware of. Williamson states that “royal cupbearers in antiquity, in addition to their skill in selecting and serving wine and their duty in tasting it as proof against poison, were also expected to be convivial and tactful companions to the king.” This therefore was a position of great influence. The influence that this position carried can be compared to the position of Pharaoh’s cup bearer who due to his proximity with the Pharaoh had access to tell him about Joseph and bring him before Pharaoh’s presence to interpret his dream (Gen.41:9-14). Later in the book, we see that because of his position he was able to get the royal letters of permission and resources that he need for the rebuilding of the walls. What stands out very clearly in this passage is that though Nehemiah was a lay person, “he stands with the great prophets in interceding for his people and in calling them to be faithful to the Sinai covenant.” Nehemiah understood that “God was a restorer of lives and nations” and the keys to restoration were repentance and faithful obedience to God’s

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