The Israelites are God’s people so naturally they focus a lot on what God has done in the lives of their forefathers. Thankfully their forefathers recorded it all so that while these Israelites are in captivity they are able to see what God did for their forefathers and carry on the tradition of recording history and in so doing, worship God and allow their descendants to do so as well. In the book of the law that they have in Nehemiah’s time, Moses didn’t leave out the not so pretty parts about the Israelites being disobedient and God giving them into the hands of their enemies. Because of this account of their history they see the sins of their ancestors as the reason they are currently slaves and therefore need to repent of not only their own sins, but the sins of their forefathers as well and write a new agreement to obey God’s commandments/laws.
In the same way, as we have now become children of God, I think that it is important for us to also spend time studying what God has done for the Israelites in the past as well as their sins and downfalls. It is important for us to not skim over this because reading and being reminded of it is important for our salvation and growth. Just as it reminded the Israelites of the reason that they were in slavery at the time, it also reminds us of the eternal punishment of our sins. However, in seeing God’s faithfulness we are reminded that He is willing and able to save us from those pitfalls.