For the second time in the book of Nehemiah, confession of sins plays a predominant role for an entire chapter. What does this tell us about the importance of confession? There are some obvious truths we all understand about confession. For example, we can’t change if we don’t know what we have done wrong. Also, confession acknowledges to the offended party we understand our responsibility. Most importantly, Biblical confession starts from a perspective well represented by the words of Judah’s leaders: “ In all that has happened to us, you have remained righteous; you have acted faithfully, while we acted wickedly” (Nehemiah 9:33).
Confession understands who is right and who has been wrong all along. This is why confession is an important response as we are saved by faith (Romans 10:9-10). Faith recognizes that God alone can save us, and confession recognizes that we have been trying to save ourselves, albeit to no good end. Thankfully, in God’s grace, if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us (1 John 1:9).