Read for This Week’s Study: Neh. 9:1-3; Dan. 9:4-19; Neh. 9:4-8; Col. 1:16-17; Neh. 9:9-38; Rom. 5:6-8.
Memory Text: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13, NKJV).
After the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) was finished, the leaders again gathered the people. They had just spent time celebrating; now it was time to return to the unfinished business of confession and repentance before God for their sins.
Yes, earlier, the leaders had told them to stop grieving and being sad over their faults, but that doesn’t mean mourning and confession are not important. Thus, now that they had celebrated the festivals, it was time to go through proper confession.
The order of events presented here doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the sequence in which rejoicing and confession are always done; nor does it mean that only the reverse order is to be followed. Although we may naturally follow the order of confession first, followed by celebration, perhaps the celebration of God in our lives should come first. After all, Romans 2:4 tells us that it is the “goodness of God” that brings us to repentance. His “goodness”, then, should evoke praise and feasting, while also reminding us that we need God to forgive, cleanse, and re-create us.