More Sin? More Grace.

That’s the point of Nehemiah 9.

Grace

You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea…And you divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on dry land, and you cast their pursuers into the depths (Neh. 9:9-11)

Sin

But they and our fathers acted presumptuously and stiffened their neck and did not obey your commandments. They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt.  (vv. 16-17)

More Grace

But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them. Even when they had made for themselves a golden calf and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,’ and had committed great blasphemies, you in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness (vv.17-19)

… Still More Sin

Nevertheless, they were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your law behind their back and killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies (v.26)

…Still More Grace

Therefore you gave them into the hand of their enemies, who made them suffer. And in the time of their suffering they cried out to you and you heard them from heaven, and according to your great mercies you gave them saviors who saved them from the hand of their enemies (v27).

Even More Sin, Even More Grace

But after they had rest they did evil again before you, and you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them. Yet when they turned and cried to you, you heard from heaven, and many times you delivered them according to your mercies (v.28).

… in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God (v.31)

Romans 5:20: “where sin increased, grace abounded even more.”

Or, as Charles Spurgeon said, “My Lord is more ready to pardon than you are to sin, more able to forgive than you are to transgress” (Evening by Evening, Aug 22).

This, of course, does not drive us to sin all the more. But it does allow us to admit the depth of our sin when it’s there and not despair, but rejoice.

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