This chapter is basically the rulers, officials and peoples of God making an agreement or promise to the Lord to follow His laws. The surrounding nations had many idols and worshipped other gods, so Jerusalem was making a promise to the Lord that they would set themselves apart from other nation and would worship the One True God. Even the children that were able to understand everything bound themselves to the promise to "follow the Law of God given through Moses the servant of God and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the Lord our Lord."
Then they go on further to explain specific details they will follow to be set apart from other nations:
- They promised to not give their daughters in marriage to the peoples around them or take other daughters for their sons
- They promised to not buy or sell any merchandise on the Sabbath or any other holy day. And every seventh year they promised to forgo working the land and cancel all debts
- They promised to tithe a third of a shekel each year for the service of the house of the Lord
- They promised to follow the lots that were cast which determined when each family was responsible to contribute wood to burn on the altar
- They promised to bring their firstfruits of crops from every fruit tree to the house of the Lord
- They promised to follow the tradition of bringing their first born son and their cattle to the house of the Lord and to the priests ministering there
- When I read the notes on this tradition my heart was tugging! I love this tradition, I love what it symbolizes and that it is such a strong reminder of the Lord redeeming and protecting His people in Egypt.
- Why did they bring their firstborn sons to the priests? "God wanted His people to make Him their top priority. They need to remember that everything, including themselves, belonged to God. To symbolize this fact, the law required that firstborns be brought to God (Exodus 22:29-30; 34:19). People brought the firstborn animals to the priests to be sacrificed. Parents offered these sacrifices in place of their firstborn sons and then took their sons home to raise. This law reminded them of how God had spared Israel's firstborn sons during the Passover in Egypt (Exodus 13:14-16)." (Quest Study Bible notes)
-What ever happened to traditions of sacrifice? Sure we have our traditions, Easter, Christmas, Good Friday, Etc, but those are full of rejoicing and celebrating and eating. Don't get me wrong, those traditions and holiday are MEANT for celebrating and rejoicing and feasts! But I don't think its a bad idea to add in some other traditions that cause us to remember and offer sacrifices as thankfulness. To raise our kids with these other traditions of truths. Please know that Jesus was the Ultimate sacrifice and He fulfilled the Law with all sacrifices, so this is no longer a Law that we are bound to follow. But I really like the idea of offering something to the Lord when my first born son is born. Or not working every seven years and canceling all debts. (hehe, sounds good to me!) We may not be able to offer our firstborn cattle, but I'm sure we can think of something!
- They promised to bring the first of their tithes and offerings to the House of the Lord and the priests. This included the first of their ground meal, grain offerings, fruit of their trees, new wine and oil.
- They promised to not neglect the House of God
I don't have much else to say about this chapter, except for the idea of me making a strong agreement or promise to the Lord to follow His law scares the beeegeeebeeesss out of me. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and I definitely have a fear of the Lord. I will continue to strive every day to follow the commandments and will of the Lord, but I would be absolutely terrified to make a promise to the Lord about it. I am such a sinner and I mess up numerous times a day. I think I'll hold off on the promises and continue praying for the Lord's grace on my life and that He would keep renewing me everyday to be more and more like Jesus.
If you have anything to add or any questions about Nehemiah 10 please feel free to leave a comment. I'll get back with any questions as soon as I ask someone wiser than me;) Have a wonderful day! Love, Devon