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The Consequences of Sin

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | December 22, 2023 | Nehemiah 9:32-37


KEY VERSE: 

“But see, we are slaves today, slaves in the land you gave our ancestors so they could eat its fruit and the other good things it produces” Nehemiah 9:36 (NIV)

 

MESSAGE:

When they read and meditated on the word of God, they saw themselves. Then they saw God and finally, they learned about their need. They knew they were living like slaves in their land (36). Nehemiah and Ezra had opened their eyes to the direness of their situation. The Israelites, once enjoying freedom in their land, now faced foreign rule due to their disobedience. It serves as a metaphor for the way sin can enthral us. While we may believe we're in control, yielding to sin means surrendering our freedom to something that aims to dominate us. This lesson starkly reminds us of the deceitful nature of sin. It promises freedom but delivers bondage. It lures us with instant satisfaction but leads to lasting consequences. The freedom we truly seek – the freedom that brings peace and fulfilment – is found in obedience to God.  Abiding by His Word grants us genuine freedom.

Therefore, let us be vigilant against the lure of sin. It is important to Identify potential vulnerabilities in your life and proactively safeguard against temptation. Surround yourself with godly influences, immerse in Scripture, and stay connected with a supportive community of believers. In Christ, you possess the power to triumph over sin and embrace the freedom He calls you to. Let us embrace that freedom, not as a license to do as we please, but as an opportunity to live in a way that honours God and brings true joy to our lives.

 

FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE:

Reflect on personal actions, decisions, or attitudes that might have contributed to the consequences of sin in your life and the lives of those around you. Consider how acknowledging the consequences of sin can serve as a catalyst for repentance and a genuine desire for transformation. How does this awareness influence your relationship with God and others? Reflect on the hope and possibility of God's restoration and healing in those areas.

 

PRAYER:

Gracious Lord thank you for the power of your word. Help me to see you, see myself and my need in your word. Save me from any enslavement of sin and grant me the grace to repent and turn towards you in sincerity. Thank you for being the God who forgives and restores. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS. SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!!

 

DAILY word study: SLAVES The term "slaves" in Nehemiah 9:36 is translated from the Hebrew word "עֲבָדִים" (avadim). This word specifically refers to individuals in servitude or bondage, often as a result of conquest, indebtedness, or subjugation.


The concept of slavery is prevalent throughout the Bible, portraying various dimensions of servitude, both literal and metaphorical. In Nehemiah 9:36, it reflects the historical context of the Israelites being under the dominion of foreign powers.


Biblical Examples:

  1. Exodus 1:14 (NIV): "They made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor, the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly."

  2. Jeremiah 34:13 (NIV): "This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I made a covenant with your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. I said..."

  3. Romans 6:16 (NIV): "Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?"

The term "slaves" in Nehemiah 9:36 invites us to reflect on the multifaceted nature of bondage. While the Israelites experienced physical slavery in their history, the Bible also addresses spiritual bondage and the enslavement to sin.

Just as God intervened to free the Israelites from the physical enslavement in Egypt, He offers liberation to us today. The parallel in Romans 6:16 underscores the importance of choosing obedience to God, breaking free from the chains of sin, and embracing the liberty found in Christ.

Reflections

This reflection encourages us to examine areas in our lives where we might be ensnared, seeking God's deliverance and recognizing the transformative power of His grace. Through prayer and reliance on God's strength, we can experience emancipation from the various forms of slavery, walking in the freedom offered by our Savior. Consider the various forms of "slavery" in your life, whether they be external pressures, addictions, or unhealthy patterns. How can understanding God's deliverance of the Israelites from physical slavery inform your perspective on seeking liberation from personal struggles?




 

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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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