Lesson 9: October 29, 2017

God’s Covenant with the Returned Exiles: Nehemiah 9:32-38; 10:28-29


Teaching Strategy: Brainstorm the form and content of a national prayer of repentance for today, with a view toward using the same for class participation on the next National Day of Prayer (U.S., May 3, 2018).


This week’s scripture lesson includes a description of the Israelites’ continued wrongdoing – and their recommitment to following God’s ways because of God’s faithfulness and repeated forgiveness. Noteworthy is the corporate confession of the people and the people’s leaders, the description of how we have sinned, rather than confessions by individuals of their personal sins.  You have been just in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly; our kings, our officials, our priests, and our ancestors have not kept your law or heeded the commandments and the warnings that you gave them” (vv. 33-34).

Invite participants to think about wrongdoing at the level of society – whether in a community, state, nation, or global context. How do the ways that we live together fall short of God’s justice and righteousness? In what ways have we failed to treat the “least of these,” our brothers and sisters, as children of God?

A few examples to stimulate your thinking….

Fall 2017-2018 Theme: Covenant

Unifying Principle: People find themselves in painful consequences of their own wrongdoing. In the embarrassing angst of suffering for their own wrongs, how can they dare ask for help from others? The people of Israel, hurting from painful losses of the exile for their sins, followed Nehemiah in confessing their wrongs and making a covenant with God to obey the law given through Moses.

Posted on: October 23, 2017, by : Sharon Harris-Ewing