Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Documenting the Priorities, Part 1

Scripture: Nehemiah 9:38 & 10:28
"Now because of all this We are making an agreement in writing; And on the sealed document are the names of our leaders, our Levites and our priests…."Now the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons and their daughters, all those who had knowledge and understanding,

Insights: Nehemiah 9:5-38 is the longest prayer recorded in the Bible, and as I stated yesterday, they thought hard before they prayed this prayer of repentance and commitment.  It was, however, not enough for them to just verbally give assent to these changes.  It was because of this truth that the prayer ends with verse thirty-eight.  They choose to write down and sign a written agreement as to what they are committing their lives.  The closest American illustration to this moment was the signing of our Declaration of Independence.  John Hancock, like Nehemiah of his day, signed the document large in order for all to know of his commitment and resolve.  Nehemiah 10:1-27 lists out the names of the eighty-four signers of this document and verse twenty-eight tells us a couple of things about these men.  First, they were men who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God.  Though this verse does not use the word holy that is exactly what is being communicated.  Holiness calls for us to separate from something and to Someone.  In every case it is a separation from the world and its system of rules, and then, separation to God and His commands.  These eighty-four men lived holy lives in their day.  Second, they were men who had knowledge and understanding as to what they were signing.  In other words, they were not like a bunch of youth at camp that get an emotional charge and rush to the front for the invitation just because their friends have gone forward.  These men, like John Hancock of his day, knew the weight and seriousness of their signature.  Chuck Swindoll wrote, “They were driving a ‘literary stake’ into the ground that day.”  They were declaring in a written document their allegiance to God and His ways.  Beloved, we need to live life with this kind of resolve.  We need to make written declarations as to what God has commissioned us to be and how to live.  Trust the Lord and live boldly for Him. Glory to God!

  1. Are you living a holy life?
  2. Do you have understanding as to what God is commanding you to do and be?
Prayer: Lord, my old nature constantly drags me into sin and I do not feel holy.  Yet I know You have called me to be holy because You are holy.  Grant to me the understanding and the courage to choose holiness as opposed to selfishness and sin. Amen.

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