Summary: Confession leads to consecration and celebration! When we get right w/ God we cannot help but rejoice. It's time God's people got back to singing on the wall. Link inc. to formatted text, audio/video, PowerPoint.
Consecration and Celebration
Chapter 9 was all about confession as the people got right with God.
ill.--one day a lady approached CH Spurgeon and asked for prayer for her problem with exaggeration. He said, sure, I'll pray for you to get the victory over lying. She was offended and said, I'm no liar! He replied, lady, you'll never get the victory until you call it what it is.
And true confession leads to consecration and celebration.
The last verse of chapter 9 leads us to this transition...
v. 38 'seal unto it'
After their prayer of confession, they literally write out on paper the steps they are gonna take and how they're gonna live in response. And they sign their names to it.
Chapter 10 lists 84 leaders who sign it. Look at the first one...
v. 1 Nehemiah is the governor, and he signs first, setting the example.
It's one thing to cry out in repentance at the altar and feel deep regrets and cry tears, but it's another thing to get up and change...which is TRUE repentance.
ill.--a man always ended his public prayers with "Lord, clean the cobwebs out of my life." But his life never changed. Week after week he prayed that prayer. One other member got tired of hearing it so the next time the man prayed for the Lord to clean the cobwebs out of my life the member added, "And Lord, please kill the spider!"
These people in our text are committed to getting to the bottom of their problems and really doing business with God. They put it in writing and signed their names!
3 aspects of their consecration:
1. The application of the Word.
They've heard the Scripture and it was convicting, and now they want to obey it.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
There's no point to coming service after service if you aren't going to apply it. Why read the Bible if not open to change?
• They applied the Word to their marriages.
v. 30 We are not gonna be unequally yoked together.
God knew an unequal yoke would lead to constant conflict.
Jews couldn't eat pork, but the Gentiles could.
They would fight over money, because the Jews had to give 3 tithes: a temple tax, the firstfruits, and what we call the tithe today.
Constant conflict would lead to occasional compromise. The believer would get tired of fighting over whether they go to church or the lake today, and would eventually give in and compromise.
Then comes complete conformity, where the believer abandons their faith.
These are the same reasons your NT says not to marry an unbeliever.
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
How many times has a young lady told me she's gonna marry a guy and "I'm gonna get him saved"?
That's unscriptural. Never does God recommend marriage as a mission field. And that's unwise. Most of the time the believer doesn't pull the unbeliever up, but the other way around. We all know some exception, but realize they are just that...an exception, not the rule.
ill.--it's much easier to make hot water cold than cold water hot. It's much easier to pull someone down than to pull someone up.
• They applied the Word to Sabbath keeping.
v. 31 We're gonna keep God's day holy.
And they signed their names to it!
• They applied the Word to their giving.
v. 32 'the house of our God' is used 9 times in this passage.
v. 35, 37
Every great revival renews interest in the house of God, and in giving to it. When someone says they have had revival but it doesn't bring them back to church something is wrong. And if it hasn't reached your wallet it hasn't reached your heart. Jesus said it. [where your treasure is...]
the application of the Word...
2. The occupation of the city.
We must let our light shine where God puts us.
Go to chapter 11...
v. 1 Once the walls were built Nehemiah had to deal w/ another problem. There weren't enough Jews living inside the walls. Many lived in villages just outside the city.
Nehemiah needed more Jews to protect the city, and also to be witnesses to the many Gentiles around the area.