Read - Nehemiah 9:1-21

The People Confess Their Sins

1On the twenty-fourth day of the seventh month, the people of Israel went without eating, and they dressed in sackcloth and threw dirt on their heads to show their sorrow. 2They refused to let foreigners join them, as they met to confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors. 3For three hours they stood and listened to the Law of the Lord their God, and then for the next three hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord.

4Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani stood on the special platform for the Levites and prayed aloud to the Lord their God. 5Then the Levites Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah said:

“Stand and shout praises

to your Lord,

the eternal God!

Praise his wonderful name,

though he is greater

than words can express.”

The People Pray

6You alone are the Lord,

Creator of the heavens

and all the stars,

Creator of the earth

and those who live on it,

Creator of the ocean

and all its creatures.

You are the source of life,

praised by the stars

that fill the heavens.

7 You are the Lord our God,

the one who chose Abram—

you brought him from Ur

in Babylonia

and named him Abraham.

8 Because he was faithful,

you made an agreement

to give his descendants

the land of the Canaanites

and Hittites,

of the Amorites and Perizzites,

and of the Jebusites

and Girgashites.

Now you have kept your promise,

just as you always do.

9 When our ancestors

were in Egypt,

you saw their suffering;

when they were at the Red Sea,

you heard their cry for help.

10 You knew that the King of Egypt

and his officials and his nation

had mistreated your people.

So you worked fearsome miracles

against the Egyptians

and earned a reputation

that still remains.

11 You divided the deep sea,

and your people walked through

on dry land.

But you tossed their enemies in,

and they sank down

like a heavy stone.

12 Each day you led your people

with a thick cloud,

and at night you showed the way

with a flaming fire.

13 At Sinai you came down

from heaven,

and you gave your people

good laws and teachings

that are fair and honest.

14You commanded them to respect

your holy Sabbath,

and you instructed

your servant Moses

to teach them your laws.

15 When they were hungry,

you sent bread from heaven,

and when they were thirsty,

you let water flow

from a rock.

Then you commanded them

to capture the land

that you had solemnly promised.

* 16 Our stubborn ancestors

refused to obey—

they forgot about the miracles

you had worked for them,

and they were determined

to return to Egypt

and become slaves again.

17 But, our God, you are merciful

and quick to forgive;

you are loving, kind,

and very patient.

So you never turned away

from them—

18 not even when they made

an idol shaped like a calf

and insulted you by claiming,

“This is the god who rescued us

from Egypt.”

19 Because of your great mercy,

you never abandoned them

in the desert.

And you always guided them

with a cloud by day

and a fire at night.

20Your gentle Spirit

instructed them,

and you gave them manna to eat

and water to drink.

21You took good care of them,

and for forty years

they never lacked a thing.

Their clothes didn't wear out,

and their feet were never swollen.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®) © 2006 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.