“We promise together not to neglect the Temple of our God.” (Neh. 10:39)
Reading: Nehemiah Chapter 10.
Pray for a renewed hunger for God's Word personally and in the life of the Church.
Use the plumb line of the New Testament scripture in the list below and ask the Holy Spirit to show you if you have deviated from the line. If so, pray a simple prayer of repentance and give the Holy Spirit permission to change your heart and mind.
Ask the Lord to guide the Church leadership to discern the right way forward as we live into this new post-pandemic season.
Lift up the known needs of the Church congregation in prayer.
Reflection on Nehemiah.
The public reading of the Mosaic Law led to the spiritual renewal of the people. They had heard the plumb line of God's Word and measured themselves up against it. Where they had deviated from God's requirements, they repented and brought themselves back into alignment with God's revealed will. The people vowed with solemn oaths to keep the Law of the covenant. That is how covenants are made; both parties bind themselves with oaths or promises to each other. In this case, God never broke His side of the agreement. The Israelites were renewing their oaths having returned to God.
We have a new covenant, a covenant of grace, and no longer obey the Law of the old covenant because Jesus fulfilled it on our behalf. Under the old covenant, they obeyed the written Law of Moses. Under the new covenant, we obey the teachings of Jesus as handed down to us through the Apostles, and the Holy Spirit, who lives inside of us, brings about the transformation of our hearts so we can live them out.
Here are some of the equivalent new covenant teachings that are similar to those we have read in Nehemiah:
And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. - Matt. 5:36-37.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? - 2 Cor. 6:14.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. - Matt. 6:12
He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” - Lk. 20:25.
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. - Col. 2:16-17.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. - Jn 15:4.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. - Gal. 5:22-25.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. - Matt 23:23.
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. - Heb 10:25.