Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to listen to the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You day and night for the Israelites, Your servants, confessing the sins of the Israelites which we have sinned against You. Yes, I and my father's house have sinned.
But if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though your outcasts were in the farthest part of the heavens [the expanse of outer space], yet will I gather them from there and will bring them to the place in which I have chosen to set My Name. [Deut. 30:1-5.] (Nehemiah 1: 6, 9 AMP)
Nehemiah is pleading to God for Him to hear him. But for God to hear he had to be humble not arrogant or proud. So he confessed the sins of his country. Then his heart opened knowing he had sinned also. We've all sinned and confession is very important.
Then God said years before that if Israel sinned He would scatter them. But all they had to do to was to go before the Lord. He wanted relationship with them and He wanted obedience. Then they would be gathered back to Him. His Name actually is what they would be near. In Bible days the Name meant something. It was a blessing for a baby's life. It was the quality of life the parent was living at that time. But for God His Name was His character. He was the God Who Sees a young girl and her baby lost in the desert. He showed her the next step to save their lives. He was I Am to Moses who needed the sufficiency of a God who filled every need. You need it, I Am it. There are so many beautiful Names for God and beautiful stories to go with them.
But God wanted His people near His Name where He could be their all sufficient, giving, loving God. How difficult it must be when we turn away. Jesus wept speaking of Jerusalem whom He wanted to gather under His wings but they would not let Him.
Lord may we each draw near You, the God who sees our hearts and longs to shelter us under His wings. We don't want to break your heart. We have sinned and are in need of a Savior. Please take us in.