Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday, December 19th Nehemiah 10

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Nahum 1-3, Revelation 15
Today's scripture focus is Nehemiah 10

Nehemiah 10 English Standard Version (ESV)

The People Who Sealed the Covenant

10  “On the seals are the names of Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hacaliah, Zedekiah, Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah, Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah; these are the priests. And the Levites: Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel; 10 and their brothers, Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 11 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah,12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 13 Hodiah, Bani, Beninu. 14 The chiefs of the people: Parosh, Pahath-moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani, 15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, 16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,17 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur, 18 Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai, 19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, 21 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua, 22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, 23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub, 24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek, 25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, 26 Ahiah, Hanan, Anan, 27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah.

The Obligations of the Covenant

28 “The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants, and all who have separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, their daughters, all who have knowledge and understanding, 29 join with their brothers, their nobles, and enter into a curse and an oath to walk in God's Law that was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord and his rules and his statutes. 30 We will not give our daughters to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons. 31 And if the peoples of the land bring in goods or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on a holy day. And we will forego the crops of the seventh year and the exaction of every debt.
32 “We also take on ourselves the obligation to give yearly a third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God: 33 for the showbread, the regular grain offering, the regular burnt offering, the Sabbaths, the new moons, the appointed feasts, the holy things, and the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God. 34 We, the priests, the Levites, and the people, have likewise cast lots for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, according to our fathers' houses, at times appointed, year by year, to burn on the altar of the Lord our God, as it is written in the Law. 35 We obligate ourselves to bring the firstfruits of our ground and the firstfruits of all fruit of every tree, year by year, to the house of the Lord; 36 also to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God, the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, as it is written in the Law, and the firstborn of our herds and of our flocks; 37 and to bring the first of our dough, and our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the wine and the oil, to the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and to bring to the Levites the tithes from our ground, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all our towns where we labor. 38 And the priest, the son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive the tithes. And the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers of the storehouse. 39 For the people of Israel and the sons of Levi shall bring the contribution of grain, wine, and oil to the chambers, where the vessels of the sanctuary are, as well as the priests who minister, and the gatekeepers and the singers. We will not neglect the house of our God.”

Accompanying Ray Stedman sermon: The New Resolve

Stedman has this to say about our passage and it's application in our lives today....

The Israelites committed themselves to six things in this passage:

First, they committed themselves to avoid the unequal yoke in their marriages. Second, they promised to observe anew the seventh day (the Sabbath), and the seventh year, (the Sabbatical). Third, they promised to provide money, grain and animals for the offerings of the temple. Fourth, they promised to bring the first fruits of their crops, their herds, their flocks, and their firstborn sons, to God. Fifth, they promised to pay ten per cent (the tithe,) of all their income, their crops and wealth to the temple. Sixth, they promised to attend faithfully the house of God.

These commitments translate into very applicable goals for us today:
Marry in the faith. Do not choose a mate who does not know the Lord. Learn to work and live out of rest. Learn that God will pick up what you do and use it far greater than you were able to do. Expect him to do so and rest on that fact. Do not strain or worry, and feel it all depends on you to produce success in a ministry. Frequently remind yourself of the cost of your redemption. Do not forget the precious blood of Jesus. We are all sinners by nature. We have not done anything that can make us acceptable to God, but we have acceptance because of the blood of Jesus. We are all sinners by nature. We have not done anything that can make us acceptable to God, but we have acceptance because of the blood of Jesus. Daily remember that you are not your own. We are responsible to the Lord to follow his guidelines, to obey his words, and to honor him. Support the ministry out of gratitude -- do so out of a sense of blessing and thanksgiving. And, finally, do not neglect meeting with others for mutual support, worship and prayer. That is the way to make a success of the Christian life. How wonderfully practical it is!

This does, of course, require discipline.  But Stedman has one very important reminder....
Ultimately, these people failed to follow through with their commitment. Subsequent history reveals that all the old habits returned. All the old sins were revived among them. The nation once again lost the blessing of God upon it. Why? We discover the key in Verse 29. They said, "all these now join their brothers the nobles, and bind themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the Law of God given through Moses." (Nehemiah 10:29 NIV). They were depending on their own efforts to obey. They bound themselves with a curse and an oath. They were saying, "We will do this or else." They were relying upon their own self-determination, their own will power. They were gritting their teeth and swearing to perform properly. There is no expression of any need of help from God or of any provision for failure and return.
That is what the New Testament adds. It is right to vow. It is right to write it down for your own benefit and remind yourself frequently of your goal. But we must always add the words that Paul uses of himself,
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 KJV)

That is what makes the difference. 
We need to be committed to living life as God instructs us to, motivated by love for and gratitude to Him, and enabled by His strength, not our own.

Monday's scripture focus: Nehemiah 11
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Habakkuk 1-3
Sunday's passage: Zephaniah 1-3
Monday's passage: Haggai 1-2, Revelation 16

No comments: