He Will Bring You Back
Nehemiah 1:8-9, “Remember the word which You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful I will scatter you among the peoples; but if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though those of you who have been scattered were in the most remote part of the heavens, I will gather them from there and will bring them to the place where I have chosen to cause My name to dwell.’ ”
Today’s note is a selection of some random thoughts as they relate to Nehemiah’s great prayer. Israel had been carried away into captivity because of their stubborn refusal to repent and turn from their sin. Jerusalem had been destroyed. Any real hope for a future had been forfeited in the hearts of God’s people. But God was not through with His people. In Nehemiah’s words we are all reminded that our God is full of mercy and grace. His longing, His desire, is revealed in this great prayer.
Remember. God remembers His Word. Always. Without exception. Without fail. This is true with regard to both His promises and His warnings. Be it blessing or be it discipline, He remembers His Word. We need to remember that the “if” is always neutral in and of itself. In all instances what follows the “if” is a promise, a word that God will remember. It is my choice that will determine the direction and final destination. “IF you are unfaithful I will scatter…IF you return I will gather…” Sand or rock. Broad or narrow. Hearer or doer. Sow to the flesh or sow to the Spirit. Blessing or cursing. Life or death. God stands at the crossroads of all our choices and exhorts us to remember that in every circumstance of life He will remember His Word.
Return. All of life is a returning to God. The separation created by sin can only be removed when we return (in the Person of Jesus Christ). In a real sense, returning to Him is our one great need. In fact, it precedes any and all hopes or thoughts of obedience. Apart from an abiding relationship I cannot obey. How desperately we as a people and we as individuals need to return to God. Be it ten miles or just ten steps, any amount of distance is too much. Close the distance. Return to God.
Remote. No place, no position, no person is too remote for God to reach. Sin and the devil can put you on the highest shelf in the kitchen but God can still reach you. A “point of no return” simply does not exist in the economy of the Kingdom. God can reach me despite any distance. God can restore me despite any failure. God can remake me despite any fracture. He knows where you are even now. But more than that, He is with you even now. No matter how hopeless, no matter how seemingly impossible, no matter how bad or how many times… you are not beyond His reach. He can reach the remote.
Restore. God loves us too much to let us remain where we are at the moment. When we return, He responds by restoring us to the life He has chosen for us. God will never leave you behind in the place of your sin and shame. He will bring you back. Back to Him, back to the place of fellowship, back to the place where you have both a future and a hope. Whatever your current “there” I want you to remember that in Him it is not your final “there.” God’s ultimate plan for each of us is restoration, a restoration that can be experienced not only in the age to come but also in this present life here and now. Let God restore you to a place of life.