Good Morning Siblings!
Today’s readings are Nehemiah 10-11
We begin with the people sealing the covenant they just made with YHWH. They wanted to memorialize and formalize their turning back to YHWH. Notice that they willingly, joyfully, and gratefully entered into this covenant, knowing that agreeing to obey His commandments and statutes is such a small thing (they are embedded with blessings anyway) compared to what the Father is offering in return.
Interesting note: The Hebrew word for covenant is actually not used in this passage although most of our Bibles will have that, including mine. The word used is Amana, which translates to a declaration of faith. They also didn’t take any of the actions a people normally would have taken to bind and seal a covenant so we can look at this as something of a covenant by our standards, but YHWH had never broken His covenant with them so on their part, it was a repentance and return to keeping their side of the deal.
This is what we refer to as a “renewed” covenant and that is why the “new” covenant is referred to by some as a renewed covenant as well. Check out the terms of the new covenant and you’ll see that YHWH didn’t change, His commandments and statutes are still the same, He just gave us an additional aid in His indwelling spirit to cause us to want to walk in His statutes and commandments. Sources: Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 36:26-27. This is also reiterated in Hebrews 8.
Nehemiah 10:28 is another reminder that the Father allows anyone, regardless of tribe, nationality, or origin to join themselves to Him and be counted among His chosen people.
Another Covenant Sidenote: There is often a temptation among Believers to look at those sinning differently from the majority of the church with a judgmental or disdainful eye, casting evil thoughts their way, even. It is important to remember that not everyone is in covenant with the Father and only those in covenant with the Father are bound to the conditions of that covenant. This was not something I really thought about until a few years ago and then it just hit me one day as I was sitting in my car, talking to the Father, asking Him about a situation. The thought came “They are not in covenant with me.” And my heart stopped and broke at that realization and the implications.
We, as Believers, have willingly entered into covenant with Him and therefore we have different obligations from the rest of the world.
Please notice my first sentence in this sidenote: “There is often a temptation among Believers to look at those sinning differently from the majority of the church…” We have a group of nearly 20,000 members at this point and I’m confident that out of that number we have nearly 20,000 sinners. YHWH loves us all and with the grace that has been shown to us, let us join together and pray for those both inside and outside of covenant with the Father – and ourselves – that we may all seek and/or continue to seek to know His peace, wisdom, and everlasting love.
Addendum : we are not in a position to know who is and is not in covenant. Like I said, if we disqualified someone due to sin we would all be out. For it is by Grace that we are saved, after that comes the refining and I don’t know about y’all but the Father is having to work overtime in that refining process when it comes to me!
In Nehemiah 10:29 the people enter into a curse and an oath to walk in God’s law and to observe all of the commandments. I find this to be beautiful, bold, and full of trust and desire for the Father. They are taking an oath to follow Him and willingly asking for a curse should they not. This is a show of their sincerity. Something akin to “May we follow you with all that we are and may you curse us should we turn from your ways.” A bold statement that only a person of sincere heart would dare to make. This is rooted in my favorite chapter in the whole Bible, Deut 30.
I hope you enjoy today’s readings. They are so rich. Isn’t it amazing to awaken each morning and have the word of the Father waiting to show us the path of life!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!