The people's response...mocking, scorn and laughter.
Could it be possible that they were so hard-hearted ("stiff-necked") that the reality of God's grace had become a distant memory, a historical story told from generation to generation?
It takes humility to remember the times we've messed up. It takes humility to realize that only God could have broken the chains that bound us. We can do nothing, absolutely nothing, to break ourselves free from bondage. Yet, how often do we praise God with a thankful heart for all the times He has intervened in our lives? Have we become "stiff-necked" like the Israelites?
Yet, there were a few remaining who humbled themselves. They came to Jerusalem to join the great assembly. The part I love is 2 Chronicles 30:12.
Also the hand of God came upon Judah to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the Lord.
Unity to perform the word of the Lord as commanded by the king and his princes was supernaturally imparted.
God, place Your hand upon us giving us one heart to do all that is on Your heart. Whether, it is keeping an attitude of praise and thankfulness for Your deliverance or speaking a word to the weary or ministering to the sick or loving the unlovely, give us one heart, a heart unified by Your Spirit! In the great and awesome name of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus! AMEN!!!