More than four or five times Nehemiah said to God to not to forget his good deeds. Did he think that God will forget anything about any person upon the earth?
KJV - 22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.
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Quite a question, Charles! In his opening prayer, Nehemiah asked God to remember, not because he thought God might forget, but as a way of saying, "I'm remembering what You said in Your Word, Lord, and I'm depending on Your faithfulness." In all his other prayers, Nehemiah asked God to remember people, including himself. JSB
I still recall a sermon I heard many, many years ago based on the book of Nehemiah, in which the minister said that the three principles that the book contained for success in a proposed undertaking were what he called "The Three P's -- Pray, Plan, and Persevere." I would not associate Nehemiah's repeated pleas to God not to forget his good deeds as a failing or a lack of faith on Nehemiah's part, but simply as an indication of both prayer and perseverance arising from Nehemiah's ongoing belief that God was the One who could insure his success, as well as an acknowledgement of Nehemiah's constant awareness that God's assistance was essential at every stage or step for that success.
Let me first say that This is not a question I have ever thought about or researched, so my answer is just an opinion. My feeling is that Nehemiah regularly prayed to God, and by repeating his petitions, he was living the same principle that Jesus espoused in the story of the unjust judge in Luke chapter 18. Repetition is a good way to receive what you want in a petition! Further, Nehemiah lived in a time not long after God’s judgment of Israel and was himself exiled as a part of that judgement. He didn’t have the New Testament of the Bible, whereby he knew that Jesus died for his sins. He was familiar, however (I am sure), with the Psalms and Proverbs and the principle of covering a multitude of sins through faith and prayer. I think, if we had SEEN God’s judgment in our own lifetimes, or even had the preachers preaching hellfire and brimstone of a couple generations ago, we might show both more gratitude for Jesus’ sacrifice and love, and as a result, live and PRAY more like Nehemiah!
Nehemiah was one of those who had a true love for God the Father and observed His commandments. Being told the remnant were in great affliction and reproach, he confessed that, “We have sinned against you.” (Neh. 1:5-6) And knowing because of their transgression they were scattered and would be brought back if they confessed their sins (Deut 4:29-31), he fasted and prayed before the God of Heaven. His prayer was to desire to fear in God’s name, to be strong and have faith in His Word, and to prosper in His given wisdom to men. (Neh 1:10-11) I believe his good deeds were “confessing at all times” how sinful they were, for the Lord had spoken to Moses to teach them the statutes and judgments: “If you turn again unto me and keep my commandments, I will gather thee and bring you back to the place I have chosen.” Being the king’s cupbearer, the king saw his countenance was sad (Neh 2:2) and said unto him, “Why are you sad and what would you want me to do for you.” Before he could open his mouth he feared and his good deeds were to pray and then he prayed to the God of Heaven (Neh 2:4) and confessed how sinful he was, and then all things came to pass. For his true humbleness and prayer the Lord God put in his heart to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Neh 2:12).
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