Summary: As Christians, we must make strong commitments in order to live the victorious life.
Make the Commitment!
Nehemiah Chapter Ten
In Chapter Nine of Nehemiah, the people prayed and repented. In Chapter Ten they acted on these prayers and made a covenant with God. They in fact made a commitment to God.
We need that word in our world today, the word “commitment.” Many people today start out, but few finish.
Webster’s Dictionary defines commitment as: “an agreement or pledge to do something in the future;” or the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled
You see, the reason so many people are afraid of commitment is that they don’t want to be obligated. They want to be free to do whatever they decide to do at the moment.
Are you committed?-Illus.
A soldier in Afghanistan recieved a "Dear John" letter from his girlfried saying she was breaking up with him. He got with a group of friends and collected all their girlfriends pictures. He sent them all to the girlfriend saying, "I’m sorry I don’t remember which one of these girls you are, so please pick out your picture and send the rest back to me."
-We need commitment in marriage!
-We need commitment in ministry!
Some people just want to say words. A man says, “I love you!” to a woman and wants the benefits of marriage, but will not marry her. That man needs to make a commitment.
One older gentleman came to prayer meeting each week. He would cry out in prayer, “Lord clean the cobwebs out of my life!” Over and over again he would say this. Finally one man got tired of hearing this, so he went over and laid his hand on the man’s shoulder and prayed, “Lord, don’t just clean out the cobwebs, but Lord kill that spider!”
The people decided to do something, they made a commitment!
II. They Committed to Submission
There were eighty four people who signed their names on this list. Nehemiah’s name led the list. They were leaders, priests and Levites. Many others also committed to these principles without signing their names. Verses 28-29
A. This was a Definite Choice
What did they commit to? They committed themselves to follow the Law of God.
and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes:
B. This was a Wise Choice
everyone who had knowledge and understanding — 29 these joined with their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse and an oath to walk in God’s Law,
10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom
C. This was a Serious Choice
Now this was serious business making an oath to the Lord. By signing this agreement these people were legally binding themselves to follow God’s commandments. They were also inviting the judgment of God upon themselves if they broke the commitment. It was an oath and a curse. Verse 29
2 If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
Illus. I walked into the church office one day and found that three birds had somehow gotten into the office. I could not for the life of me, figure out how to catch them and release them. They ran from me as if I was trying to kill them, but I truly had only their best interest in mind. I thought, "If they only knew that I cared about them. If they would just fly into my hand I would set them free!" Then I thought, "Maybe God thinks the same thing about us."!
III. They Committed to Separation
The foreigners around the Jews were always trying to get the Jews to adapt their culture. The Jews have suffered tremendously down through the centuries because they have refused to adapt other cultures.
We are told in the Scriptures to keep ourselves separate from the world.
2 Cor 6:17
"Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you."
Now be aware that separation doesn’t mean isolation. If we isolate ourselves from the world, we will never win them to Christ!
They maintained separation here in a couple of ways.
A. They were separate in marriage- vs. 30
They committed themselves not to intermarry with those who didn’t worship their God. This was the main concern. Today believers and unbelievers should never marry each other.
B. They were separate in their observance of the Sabbath- vs. 31
This was a key distinctive that separated the Jews from others. They also kept the Sabbath years. They let the land rest every seven years and trusted God for food. They also forgave debts and observed the “Year of Jubilee.” They refused to do business on the Sabbath day.