There is an astounding passage in Nehemiah 9 in which the people acknowledge and make confession for their sin. It struck me as strange and magnificent because we do not often hear such confession these days either in our corporate gatherings or upon our own lips. Most of my own confession, while truly genuine and heart-felt, still features me much more prominently than it does the God to Whom I am making confession.
Rarely do I put my sin in its proper perspective by spending a great deal of time confessing the goodness and greatness of God before I ever bring my own sin into His light. How often do I rehearse the redemption story of which I am so graciously a part? I would dare say that there is no adequate confession of my sinfulness until there is sufficient confession of God’s glory and grace. Of course, this does not mean that every time I go before the Lord or stand together with His people each Lord’s Day in corporate confession that I must recite all of the things mentioned by Nehemiah and the people. But it does mean that those truths should be understood and loved far more deeply than is often the case.
One of the ways to do that is to rehearse again and again the story of Creation and Redemption in the hearing of our children, grandchildren, or anyone else who cares to listen. So the next time we find ourselves before the throne of God in confession and repentance, let us not close our eyes tightly to where we only look inwardly to our darkened hearts. Let us pray with eyes wide open that we may see all the splendor of His glory and the wonder of His mercies to dirty sinners such as we from beginning to end.