Perfect Start & Finish

Perfect Start & Finish

(Reflection from Nehemiah 1:1-11)

God's perfect start and finish
"God's Perfect Forgiveness"


“Reflection On God’s Grace & Faithfulness”

Every one of us who believe in God exists, must be also afraid of the punishment from God. Often people become guessing whether a situation that occurs is the result of God's wrath and punishment that comes from Him.


For example, when a natural disaster occurs such as an earthquake, tsunami, or viral pandemic, and so on; sometimes we feel that this is God's punishment that has come.


Is that right? How do we respond to this thinking?



When the writer reads slowly from Nehemiah 1, it turns out that God always has a "perfect" beginning and ending when He punishes.


This is a good news for us, God's children, that God never punishes without prior warning.  Also, God's punishment never ends only in His punishment.



# There Are Always Advance Warnings


Regret often comes too late. But just like the Israelites at that time, especially Nehemiah in this story, HE realized that all of God's punishments could have been avoided. If only they had listened to and were aware of God's warning from the start.


Nehemiah realized (verse 8) that God had warned from the beginning, that if they did not obey God's commands and decrees and continued to be not faithful to Him, God would punish them by scattering them among the nations. God's warnings were always given at the beginning, but they paid no attention to the warnings.


Likewise in our life.  When we feel personally experiencing God's judgment, we are always too late to realize that in fact God has warned many times from the beginning that what we do is sin and can have consequences.


Only when its look like we are being punished by God, we realize that God has actually warned us, maybe many times, before the punishment actually happened.



# Our Response Amidst Punishment


Nehemiah can be a good example for us about how we respond after realizing that we are under God's punishment.  After we regret not listening to the warning in advance, what is our appropriate response?


The first, of course, admits we have sinned. The proper recognition is personal, apart from being communal.  As Nehemiah said in verse 6, "Both I myself and my family have sinned".


Even though Nehemiah lived well in the king's palace as the king's cupbearer. Even though he was not in Jerusalem which was experiencing turmoil and suffering, Nehemiah still acknowledged that he was part of his sin.


This is not a confession of sin, but refers to someone else fault.  Not only regretting the punishment that has come, and blaming other people, and we ourselves are just victims.


This is not the proper recognition that God desires to come out of us.



After all, God created us as social beings, who have responsibilities for one another - apart from having responsibility for our personal lives.


In many cases in modern times, our fault is "we just keep quiet", even though we speak out to our neighbors.   It might be defiant, or at least claim it wrong. But our biggest mistake is that we can just keep quiet, let what happens happen, and are busy with our own lives.


After that, the next step is, of course, we sincerely ask God's forgiveness. Begging for another chance to fix it. Because true confession is not just confessing by mouth, but must be responded to with actions to change what is wrong.



# There Are Always Chances for Recovery


God never gets angry emotionally, then just leaves us. God always warns first, then consistently punishes, and finally gives restoration when we repent.


Verse 9 should give us hope that there is always an opportunity to improve, complete restoration can always occur.


Our Lord does not punish us fiercely, then throw us away completely.


Even though His discipline is always consistent, His loyal love also never changes.


Meanwhile verse 11 gives us the example of Nehemiah that restoration can take place not because of our greatness, but because of God's participation and grace.

After all the bad things have happened, let's take a step back. Starting our recovery steps from whatever is in our hands. But continue to realize that we will indeed succeed in experiencing a successful recovery, but not because of the strength of our own hands.  But because of God's mercy, help, and participation.


This awareness is important to ensure the success of our recovery, and also keeps us from falling back.




It would be great to realize that God's warnings always come first and we listen to them from the beginning. But if we end up not noticing the initial warning, don't stop just regretting it there.


Let us respond appropriately and properly in condemnation. Not blaming others, but confessing personally. Take responsibility personally.


Because that kind of response will make us get the perfect ending, which is complete restoration from God.

Read also: Advantages Life Without Mask

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