They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. – Nehemiah 1:10
The cupbearer for the king of Persia was Nehemiah, a Jew in Babylonian exile. He waited on the king and tasted his food and drink to ensure its safety. One day some Jews came to him with news from Jerusalem and the situation going on there since the return of the Jews. He was saddened by the news and prayed to God that he could return to the land of his fathers. In his prayer, he mentioned that the Jews were God’s people, whom he had redeemed from Egyptian slavery and led them to the promised land of Israel by his might. He longed for his homeland and was granted a leave of absence to go and visit his native land.
As I read this passage, the words…your people…redeemed by [his]…great strength…and mighty hand filled my heart with gladness because it reassured me of who I am in Christ. It wasn’t by my strength or power but by the power of God’s Spirit that I have been redeemed. There is no way possible for me to have saved myself. It took the shed blood of Jesus to pay the price for my sins and his resurrection to bring me back to life in redeemed fellowship with God Almighty. If you are a child of God, then you too have been redeemed by God’s great strength and mighty hand. It’s all a part of his grace. We don’t deserve it, can’t earn it, and can’t buy it. We have to accept by grace through faith. Thus, we are saved. We are his people and the sheep of his pasture. He led us to that pasture through his doing not ours.
Father, thank you for redeeming me from the snare of the fowler. I should have died for my sins and been doomed to an eternal fate of separation from you, but you chose in your infinite love to make me a part of your family. You redeemed from the curse of the law of sin and death through the death, burial, and resurrection of your one and only Son, Jesus, who knew no sin but became sin for me. His righteousness is what allows me to have renewed, restored, reconciled, redeemed fellowship with you. All I can say for this great gift of love is, thank you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.