-Verses 1-27 list out the names of men who were on the sealed document of agreement with the LORD on their nation’s sinful condition and commitment to restore proper relationship with their faithful, covenant-keeping God. There were priests, Levites, and leaders who put their names to this obligation before the LORD. The rest of the people including the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants, and all who had separated themselves from the pagans of other nations to follow the Law of God with their wives, sons, and daughters (all who had understanding and knowledge) joined in with their kinsmen and nobles to take on this potential curse and oath to walk in obedience to God’s Law. The Law, given to Moses, God’s servant, was to be kept and observed in its entirety with all its ordinances and statutes. They committed to the purity of marriages within their covenant society so as to not give their daughters to foreigners or take foreign daughters for their sons. They committed not to buy or sell on God’s holy Sabbath day, and they resolved to forego the crops in the seventh year with the exaction of every debt according to Mosaic Law. They also placed themselves under responsibility to contribute yearly one third of a shekel for the service of the House of God, the Temple. This would benefit things of need in the ministry of God’s House like the showbread, the continual grain offering, the continual burnt offering, the Sabbaths, the new moon, the appointed times on the calendar, the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel. All the work of the House of God was to be taken care, which they had neglected for so long. Further, they devoted to cast lots for the supply of wood among the priests, the Levites, and the people so that they could carry out God’s required sacrifices by fathers’ households at the fixed times of the year as it was written in the Law. They would also ensure the bringing of first fruits before the LORD from every tree. In addition, the firstborn of their sons and livestock would be brought before the LORD according to His commands, so that the priests could carry out their proper functions upon them. Contributions were stressed on the tithe, even in the rural areas, so that His storehouse would be full to overflow. This would benefit all who were ministering before the LORD. The final statement says it all, “Thus we will not neglect the House of our God (Nehemiah 10:28-39).”
*Application* We can always tell when people really get serious about the things of God. His priorities become our priorities, and the other things don’t really seem to matter much. God’s commanded sacrifice for us in this dispensation (or age) is our total being (Romans 12:1-2). This requires a transformation, which only God can give. Marks of this transformation are a renewed mind thinking like Christ, a conformity to the Kingdom of God rather than this world, and a following of God’s good and acceptable and perfect will for our lives. The standard of excellence has actually heightened in comparison to these Old Testament requirements, if we care to admit it, with the work of Christ on the cross and His Spirit’s indwelling of the believer. Let’s give our lives completely over to God.
Verses to Memorize: Nehemiah 10:29, 39