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Nehemiah 9:31-37The Message (MSG)

26-31 But then they mutinied, rebelled against you,
    threw out your laws and killed your prophets,
The very prophets who tried to get them back on your side—
    and then things went from bad to worse.
You turned them over to their enemies,
    who made life rough for them.
But when they called out for help in their troubles
    you listened from heaven;
And in keeping with your bottomless compassion
    you gave them saviors:
Saviors who saved them
    from the cruel abuse of their enemies.
But as soon as they had it easy again
    they were right back at it—more evil.
So you turned away and left them again to their fate,
    to the enemies who came right back.
They cried out to you again; in your great compassion
    you heard and helped them again.
    This went on over and over and over.
You warned them to return to your Revelation,
    they responded with haughty arrogance:
They flouted your commands, spurned your rules
    —the very words by which men and women live!
They set their jaws in defiance,
    they turned their backs on you and didn’t listen.
You put up with them year after year
    and warned them by your spirit through your prophets;
But when they refused to listen
    you abandoned them to foreigners.
Still, because of your great compassion,
    you didn’t make a total end to them.
You didn’t walk out and leave them for good;
    yes, you are a God of grace and compassion.

32-37 And now, our God, the great God,
    God majestic and terrible, loyal in covenant and love,
Don’t treat lightly the trouble that has come to us,
    to our kings and princes, our priests and prophets,
Our ancestors, and all your people from the time
    of the Assyrian kings right down to today.
You are not to blame
    for all that has come down on us;
You did everything right,
    we did everything wrong.
None of our kings, princes, priests, or ancestors
    followed your Revelation;
They ignored your commands,
    dismissed the warnings you gave them.
Even when they had their own kingdom
    and were enjoying your generous goodness,
Living in that spacious and fertile land
    that you spread out before them,
They didn’t serve you
    or turn their backs on the practice of evil.
And here we are, slaves again today;
    and here’s the land you gave our ancestors
So they could eat well and enjoy a good life,
    and now look at us—no better than slaves on this land.
Its wonderful crops go to the kings
    you put over us because of our sins;
They act like they own our bodies
    and do whatever they like with our cattle.
    We’re in deep trouble.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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