Daily Word

Israel’s His-story  |  Nehemiah 9:7-8  (NASB)

7 “You are the Lord God, 
Who chose Abram
And brought him out from Ur of the Chaldees,
And gave him the name Abraham.
8 “You found his heart faithful before You,
And made a covenant with him
To give him the land of the Canaanite,
Of the Hittite and the Amorite,
Of the Perizzite, the Jebusite and the Girgashite—
To give it to his descendants.
And You have fulfilled Your promise,
For You are righteous.

Nehemiah 9:7-8  (NASB)

Virtual history tour

We’re now taken on a virtual tour of Israel’s history – from the founding of the nation in Abram (Abraham) through to “today” (their time) where they are still not completely free due to their forefathers’ sins, and their own. We’ll “pull over” at each stop and enjoy the spiritual scenery. Buckle up! It’s going to be a magnificent ride.

But this history of Israel is actually His-story, God’s story – of how He works in the world, by grace, in love.

First stop – Abraham

Where else to start than the beginning? When you think of Abraham, what’s the first word that comes to mind? For me, it’s faith, Abraham, the man of faith. Verse 8 says, “You found his heart faithful before You.” Which of these demonstrations of faith come to mind:

  • his trust in God to leave his home and go to a new land that he knew nothing about (Genesis 12:1-9, Hebrews 11:8). The flip side of the story of Abraham’s faith here is God’s election. Abraham was a pagan, living in a completely pagan culture and family. God chose him. Why? Simply by grace, by election. Paul elaborates on this grace of election in Ephesians 1:4-5. Here’s a good article on the topic of election.
  • believing that God would give him and Sarah a son in their old age (well beyond child bearing – Gen 15:1-7). This is the act for which Paul writes in Romans 4:3, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” (Also Galatians 3:6 and James 2:23)
  • his faith in sacrificing Isaac – believing that God would raise him from the dead in Gen 22:1-19.

All comes back to God

Verse 8 tells us, “You have fulfilled Your promise, For You are righteous”. It all comes back to God. Yes, we can be (and should be) faithful, to trust Him. This pleases Him and brings Him glory. Yet He is worthy. He is righteous. HE is faithful. In 1 John 4:19, we read, “We love because He first loved us.” In a similar way, if I could say it, we have faith because He is faithful.

Image from www.itnery.com

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