Passage: Nehemiah 13:1-31
The ending of the book is not satisfying. Instead of a renewed covenantal people living in perfect holiness and obedience to God, we see a people who fail yet again. We see unfaithfulness highlighted at the end. What are we to make of this ending? This book—just like all the other books of the bible—shows us that we have a problem that we cannot solve on our own. We need a better nation; a better person; a better leader; a better saviour; a better covenant-keeping, faithful servant... We need the MESSIAH—Jesus Christ. We don't want this book to end this way, but thankfully, this book is merely one book in the grand story of the entire bible. The story continues... This is why so many people in the New Testament were so desperate to see the Messiah. They were desperately waiting for the coming of the Messiah because all the Old Testament books were pointing to him and showing us that he is our only hope.
This world sometimes makes us believe that if we expect disappointment, we won't be disappointed. We have been disappointed by this broken world. We have been hurt by it, so we don't want to hope anymore. But this story—the story of the gospel—is meant to cause us to expect forgiveness; to expect redemption; to expect revival; to expect renewal; to expect grace; to expect hope; to expect Jesus!