We’ve all failed. From minor mistakes to persistent sins, failure has marked our lives. The best place to turn in times of failure is to God. But sometimes turning to God about our sins just seems to magnify our moral crisis. Thus, we’d prefer to keep our distance from the Perfect One who disapproves of us. But moving toward God is our only hope. A posture of humility and confession before God will move us beyond our failure.

How would you describe the difference between mistakes and sins? Why might some people feel reluctant to approach God when they have failed or sinned? Why is it important to move toward God when we fail?

Read Nehemiah 9:1-3. Describe each detail of this account.  What prompted the people to confess their sins? Why were the Israelites separated from the foreigners? Do you see any transferable principles for believers?

Most of Nehemiah 9 includes a summary of God’s faithfulness and the people’s rebellion. Read Nehemiah 9:5-38. How was God consistently faithful? How were the people disobedient?

How would you define sin? What does it mean to confess your sins? How does our sin affect our fellowship with God (1 John 1:9)?

At the end of the lengthy recounting of their history, the Israelites made an agreement that was sealed by their leaders (Neh. 9:38-10:27). What is the significance of agreeing together as a group? Why is it important for our church to be unified?

In Nehemiah 10:39 the people were committed to not neglecting the house of God. Why was this important to the Israelites? What does the New Testament say about “the house of God?” (Read Acts 7:48-50, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)