"Do not wipe out my good deeds..." Neh 13:14
If the labors of my life were written chalk, I suspect that at the end of my days I would want to wipe them all away. So little has been done from serious earnestness for the glory of God. So much has been done from selfishness, ambition, pride. All has been mixed with sin. So little energy for the things of God which last forever. So much energy for the pleasures of this world that last a moment. Wipe it, wipe it, wipe it all away.
And in fact God truly has, in Christ, wiped away all my sin. I know I am forgiven. The handwriting which was against me has all been washed away in the precious blood of the Lamb.
But does that leave nothing at all on the board of my life? A blank slate is better than a filthy slate...but is that all I will have to show for my 3 score and 10, or however long the Ancient of Days is pleased to preserve me?
Nehemiah's words give hope, comfort, and joy. Here we find a saintly servant of God who prays that something does not get wiped off the board. "Do not wipe out my good deeds". What was Nehemiah asking for? He was to fine a theologian, and walked too closely with God, to think that any of his deeds or works were perfect. He knew that everything good depends upon the grace and mercy of God (see verse 22). But I think what Nehemiah wanted more than anything was to be useful to God. His prayer to "not wipe out my good deeds" was a pleading with God to be useful in the building of His kingdom. More than anything in life, do I want to be used of God for the good of others? That was Nehemiah's prayer. That which is erased can not be used for anything. It is like salt that has lost its savor. It is like light under basket that cannot aid us in our steps. Do not wipe out my good deeds Oh Lord! Use me as a pen in your hand and write that with my life that will most further Your glory and the good of mankind. Wipe, wipe away my sin and shame...but write large and indelibly a manuscript of mercy and library of love with the good works that You graciously give me to do.
Soli Deo Gloria