But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God. (Nehemiah 9:31)
What a great privilege it is to serve a merciful God!
Nehemiah writes about God's "great mercy" towards his chosen ones. Despite their unfaithfulness and stubbornness, God did not put an end to them or abandon them.
He did punish them for their rebellion, but did not put an end to them or abandon them.
His promise to "never leave nor forsake" remains true even for us. No doubt, as believers in Jesus Christ, he disciplines us for our sins, yet he shows mercy.
Do not fear that the Lord will abandon you, even if you have strayed from him. He is the one who leaves the 99 faithful sheep in the open country and goes searching for the one lost.
Luke, the Physician writes,
"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' (Luke 15:4-6)
O lost sheep, your Shepherd seeks you. And when he finds you, he intends to joyfully put you on his shoulder and rejoice; so great is his mercy.
Good Shepherd Jesus, we love you, for you are a gracious and merciful God.