Bible Survey on Nehemiah – Lesson 10
The people had a heart of revival. They wanted the Word of God, they wanted to know what the Almighty had said. They wanted to know what He wanted. And when they found out what the scripture said, they went out and did it.
God said that they were to make booths and have a feast for 7 days, and so they did it. And with joy. No argument, no delay, no looking for loop holes. Instead there was a joy in doing what God wanted done. I mean this is really refreshing to see.
This is what real revival is. A heart that says I will do what God wants because He wants it. And I will be joyful about it because it is a privilege to be able to do it. Doing this is not being done to please my neighbor or a politician. It is not for status or show. I get to please the Almighty, the Creator of all. This is great. That is the heart attitude of real revival.
And real revival will always line up with God’s Word. So after they had the 7 day feast they had a solemn assembly because they found out that is what they were supposed to do. So they did it. And during that day they confessed their sins and were serious about it and made a covenant.
That is what we are taking a brief look at today. What did they promise to do?
Neh 10:28 And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding;
They separated from the world and unto the law of God. This is quite a contrast. They are going to go by what the Word of God says and not what the world says.
We have this same choice today. Are we going to go by what the world says or by what God says. The world says that everything evolved and we are just accidents. The word of God says that He created.
The world says there is no long term purpose to life. Just eat be merry, work grow old and die, and that is it. You exist no more. God says we are eternal, and life does have a purpose. We are to lay up treasures in Heaven, we are to live for Him.
The world says there is no fixed morality. What is right for one person might not be right for another. God’s Word says different. God is who decides what is right and what is wrong and He has told us in His Word.
God says thou shalt not kill. The world says it is ok to kill the unborn and more and more of the world is saying it is ok to kill nonproductive old people. Euthanasia is now legal in 7 countries including Canada, New Zealand and Spain. Last year Canada killed more than 10,000 old people.
Every Christian has to make a choice. Are you going to go with what the world says or are you going to go with what God says. During the revival in Nehemiah’s day they chose to go with what God says.
This is also a New Testament issue.
2Co 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
2Co 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
The context of these verses is separating from false God worshippers. It is not talking about hiding from everyone in the world and never interacting with anyone. We are to be witnesses to the world, we are to work jobs and as much as we can we are to live peaceably with the all men.
Rom_12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
It is talking about not worshipping their gods, not getting involved with their idols. Not walking with false god worshippers in their wickedness. Do not yoke up with them. Don’t connect with them to help them pull that horrible load.
Instead make a stand for God and say I am not getting involved in all of that wickedness. It does not say fight with them or forcibly stop them. Just let they go their own way without you.
Instead of following the world and helping false god worshipers pull their load, make the choice to follow God. That is the first thing they promised.
The second thing they promised was to walk in God’s law.
Neh 10:29 They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes;
They promised to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord.
They next thing they promised was to not intermarry with unbelievers.
Neh 10:30 And that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons:
Anyone could become a Jew. We seen that in the book of Esther. And we know that Ruth did that and Rahab. So if a Jew wanted to marry a non-believer and the non-believer wanted to marry a Jew, then all they had to do was to choose to believe.
In a practical way this rule helps bring harmony and purpose and direction to the marriage and to the family. Think about the confusion to the kids. The wife is teaching the kids to follow Baal and that Baal is real and the father is teaching about the Lord. I mean this is not good.
Another reason for them is that God promised that the Saviour would come and that He would be born in the tribe of Judah, and then later that He would be born thru the line of King David. So for God’s promise to be able to come true, then their must still be a Judah and a house of David.
That means that the Jews must maintain who they are as a people. Why? So God’s promise could come true. So they were to only marry other Jews. They said ok. We promise to do that.
Next they promised to obey the weekly Sabbath and keep the day holy. And they promise to release debt every 7 years.
Neh 10:31 And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.
It was called the year of Jubilee. It was in the law of God that if you were a poor farmer and were not making it you could sell your land, but the land was to be returned to you on the 7th year. It was in the law, but few ever obeyed that.
You have to admit it is a hard thing to do. But the revived heart do not stop obeying God just because something is difficult or because it costs you something. These people are on fire for God so they include even the hard things in their promise.
Next they realize that God’s work needs provided for. And they promise to do what God’s word told them to do about that as well.
Neh 10:32 Also we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God;
Neh 10:33 For the shewbread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God.
For them to obey the law of God, they had to have bread and meat and feasts and holy things and even wood.
Neh 10:34 And we cast the lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, after the houses of our fathers, at times appointed year by year, to burn upon the altar of the LORD our God, as it is written in the law:
So they promise to take care of all of that.
And they promise to give God the first fruits and not give God the leftovers.
Neh 10:35 And to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, unto the house of the LORD:
Neh 10:36 Also the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our God:
Neh 10:37 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.
And that was done so that the Levites who were working full time in the Lord’s work would be provided for.
Neh 10:38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.
So they promised to give.
Neh 10:39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.
The last thing they promised was to not forsake the house of our God.
They wanted the temple to be doing everything that God said should be getting done there. And for that to happen they knew that as a people they would have to give in a real practical way.
You look at the entire promise and you can sum it up this way. They promised to put God first in their lives. In a real practical way. They were going to live the way God wanted them to. They were going to do what God wanted them to do. They promised to put Him and His ways first in their lives.
That is the heart of real revival.