They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them, (Nehemiah 9:17 NIV84)
Ezra leads the people in confession and as they confess they reflect upon God’s past dealings with Israel. In one of their worst rebellious acts (the making of the golden calf is recalled in the next verse), God will not forsake them. That is such a freeing realization! God will not abandon me though I want to wring myself out because of my own guilt. Knowing that God is compassionate allows me to truly confess, which frees me from my guilt!
Lord, you know my heart and the weaknesses of my heart. You know my failures and my faults and yet you do not desert me. Praise the Lord!