The names of the people who signed the agreement (1-27)
People swear certain actions in the service of God (28-39)
II People swear specific acts in the service of God (28-39)
- Did everyone sign the contract?
- Did the people who did not sign the agreement support you? where do you see it
- What do we learn about unity in verses 28-29?
- What did your unit give you?
- What was the key element of this deal?
- What can we learn from the attitudes of the people in verse 29?
- Was it wise of them to consent to a curse if they did not keep their oath?
- What exactly did they agree on?
Big idea: Commit in advance to put God first in EVERY area.
Verses 28-29 - From these verses we learn that all the people supported this agreement that their leaders had made. The entire nation was on board, from the priests and Levites to the servants, women, and children. They had already taken the first step in serving God by separating themselves from ungodly influences. Now they have decided together to go further. We learned several key principles from your agreement.
Unity among God's people is very important. Imagine what the outcome of this agreement would be if only half of the people agreed. Imagine if only half the delegates to the Continental Congress supported the United States Declaration of Independence. The point is that unity is important for big change to happen. The lack of unity will bring divisions, factions and conflicts. Without unity, they could not have built the wall in 52 days. And they couldn't change the bad habits of their nation and the sinful lifestyle they had adopted without working together to change things. See John 17:20-23. We must also be united to serve God together. We should not go looking for things that contradict other believers. We must not prematurely judge and divide. We must not allow differences of opinion on obscure biblical points to prevent us from working together. The Church has an enormous task. Our task is to reach the world for Christ. It won't happen unless we learn to work together. We also need unity in our families. We need unity with our service partners. How can we improve our unity with the believers around us?
Making sacrifices to God changes people's lives: they have separated themselves from the impious influences of relationships with unbelievers. These relationships were like a burden that pulled her down. It was as if they were trying to move forward while being pushed back. Imagine an athlete participating in a race. Only one other person is linked to this athlete. As he tries to move forward, the other person pulls him back. I'm sure he won't win the race. So you try to serve God but refuse to separate yourself from ungodly influences and relationships. You will be trapped. You're stuck. Here we see that after cutting the cord, they were able to move on. You could make important decisions. They had cut dead weight. That was the first step. Many more steps followed. When you make great sacrifices for God, it changes your life. You will no longer be the same. What sacrifice do you have to make for God? What unholy influence do you need to get rid of?
You are committed to serving God: you are a new employee in a company. He has heard that the boss sometimes asks employees to do unethical things, like B. change numbers on paperwork or lie to customers. Anyone who does what the boss wants will be rewarded with a promotion. When should you decide what to do when your boss tells you to do something unethical? Is it easier to choose the right thing when you are sitting in a chair in your office or in advance when you are at home or in a Bible study? It is easier to make this decision in advance. You must make this commitment between you and God in advance (and you can also tell your brother or sister) so that when you are called to this position, you already know what you will do. In the heat of battle, it is easy to give in to sinful pressures and temptations. Making a commitment or promise to God in advance will help you make the right decisions when the time comes. What areas can you get involved in early on?See AlsoNehemiah 10 – Making Right Appointments With God | Ministry of Faith ResourcesEnduring Word Bibelcomment Nehemiah Chapter 10Nehemiah 10:1-39 A solemn covenant with God20 Trendy Ideas for Nehemiah's Sermon
- Time spent reading the Bible or praying
- Make time for evangelism.
- Decide the standards for how much physical contact is appropriate in a male-female relationship.
- They took their promise seriously: People took their promise so seriously that they were ready to curse themselves if they didn't keep it. The commitment they made was not empty. They had every intention of moving on. What steps can we take to make sure we keep our commitments to God?
They vowed to obey all of God's commandments; notice that they didn't just choose one or two things to obey. Together they made a common decision to obey all of God's commandments. We saw in chapter 8 that it contained laws that had not been observed in a thousand years. We, too, must obey all of God's commandments, no matter how inconvenient or out of practice.
Verse 30 - They agreed not to marry the people of the land.
By chapter 9 they had already separated from these sinful relationships. But yesterday's victory does not guarantee tomorrow's victory. Mixed marriages were a constant temptation. The Israelites had to be careful not to fall into the same sin. Therefore, they pledged not to support this practice in any way, neither themselves nor their children. Please note that they contain no conditions or exceptions. Instead, they just agree not to.
Application:Nor should we tolerate sin. We have to be careful not to be left behind. It would be wise for us to evaluate ourselves so that we can understand our weaknesses. If we are weak in certain areas, we must take extra steps in those areas to guard against temptation. What steps can you take to make sure you don't fall into the same sins over and over again?
Verse 31 - They agreed not to do business on the Sabbath.
Leviticus 23:3 - You shall not do any work.
Isaiah 58:13-14 God is pleased with those who honor the Sabbath day.
One of the biggest problems for the Israelites upon their return to Jerusalem was that they were seeking their own "kingdom" and not God's kingdom. We learn in Haggai that they made lavish improvements to their own homes while the temple was not yet built and the city lay in ruins. As a culture and as a people, they have become very materialistic. One result seems to be that in their efforts to make as much money/profit as possible, they started violating the Saturday rules. It was no longer a day of rest dedicated to the worship of God. Instead, it was just another day for them, another day to make money. Or any other day to buy and sell in the market. If they were really serious about serving God first in ALL areas, they would have to make sacrifices. Here's a tangible way to put God back in his place and put him back in the first place.
Application:Are you building the kingdom of God or are you building your own kingdom? Are you letting your job keep you from serving God? Do you let the desire for wealth, materials, or a promotion keep you busy with the things of the world? Today is the day you commit to putting God first in your work.
Verse 31 - They agreed to renew under the sabbatical year rules.
Leviticus 25:1-7 - The sabbatical year.
In the past, farmers sometimes left fields fallow for a period of time. As a result, the soil retains its performance in the long term. Each specific plant species extracts specific nutrients from the soil. Leaving a field fallow allows time for nutrients to be restored and for the soil to regain its natural fertility. Modern technology often makes heavy use of fertilizers and chemicals, which are often unhealthy and can destroy soil fertility over a long period of time. It seems that God ordained a practice that would allow the fertile land of Israel to maintain its productivity in the long term. Furthermore, God wanted people to discipline themselves to obey his commandments and focus on him instead of becoming greedy to maximize profit.
Verses 32-33 - They agreed to support the work of the priests in the temple.
Here was another area where human greed and materialism got in the way of God's work. How could the Levites and the priests effectively carry out the ministry God had given them if they were not assisted? The answer is simple: they couldn't. Lack of support would cause the priests and Levites to leave the ministry (at least temporarily) and earn a living. When they left the ministry, their ministry to God suffered. The law could not be taught or copied unless there was someone to enforce it. Sacrifices were not to be made without a priest.
In the Old Testament and the New Testament, God's pattern of ministry is the same. He wants his people to support his work. It is this financial support that allows Christian workers, missionaries and pastors to serve God without worrying about where their next meal will come from.
Application:We all need to actively support those who are doing God's work. If you're not already supporting God's work, now is a good day to make a commitment. Today we are learning that we must commit to putting God first in ALL areas. This includes finance departments. Is God the God of your finances? Are you using your finances for his glory or for his own ambition?
Verses 34-35 - They agreed to provide the priests with provisions that included wood (34) and food (35).
- Proverbs 3:9-10 - Give your first fruits to God.
- Leviticus 23:10-14 - Take the firstfruits of the harvest to the priest.
- 2 Chronicles 31:5 - They brought tithes of the first fruits in abundance.
- Malachi 3:10 – Take all the tithes to the storehouse.
Verse 36 - They agreed to consecrate their firstborn to God.
Exodus 13:2 - Consecrate all the firstborn.
Exodus 22:29 – You will give me the firstborn of your sons.
We must not only put God first in our careers, finances, and decisions, but we must also put God first in our families. The consecration of the firstborn was ordained by God for all the Israelites. It was an ever-present reminder of what God had done for them in the Exodus. God saved them from death and slavery. He had passed them by at the court of the Egyptians. Therefore, each of them (but especially the firstborn) belonged to God.
Application:Your family is not yours. Your children are not yours. God gave you a family and children for a reason. He wants you to be a good steward. He wants you to raise your children to serve him. You must do your part to pray and train your children to be disciples of God. For me, the opportunity to make disciples of God is one of the biggest reasons I wanted to have children. My wife and I pray often, and still pray, that God would not give us children who would not one day trust Him as their Savior. We have no children to care for us in old age. We have children to offer to our God as a sweet gift. This means that we should not selfishly cling to them. We shouldn't discipline them because they hurt our feelings or don't appreciate us. It's not about us. It's about God.
Verse 37 - They agreed to tithe the first thing they had.
- 2 Corinthians 9:7 - Each one should contribute as he has determined in his heart.
- Proverbs 11:24 - He gives abundantly, but becomes rich; another withholds what he must give and suffers only in need.
- Psalm 4:5 – Make righteous sacrifices and trust in the Lord. Why is it important to give the tithe first instead of giving what is left? How can we practice this today?
verses 38-39 They agreed that the priests would handle and use these gifts appropriately.
Nehemia Bible Study eBook:If this Bible study is helpful to you,Get the complete study of Nehemiah in one convenient eBook.
paperback nehemiah: You also canGet the paperback version of this Nehemiah study on Amazon.