Nehemiah 10-13 Outline and Covenant
9:38 They made a firm agreement in writing. This will serve as our agreement in writing. This is our covenant. Let us all agree to be about the work of God as described in the book of Nehemiah
10:1-29 Notice all the names are listed. Why list the names of people that seem to have been forgotten for every other reason? Because they’re not forgotten. They’re important. Each person in this church is important. It’s not just important that the leaders stand firm in this, everyone must come together and devote themselves to this covenant.
The obligations of the covenant
10:30 No inter-marrying. This is not about race or nationality. It’s not even about marriage. It’s about our thinking. Don’t attach yourself or align yourself with ideas that are contrary to God’s teaching. Our truth comes from the word of God not from our feelings, emotions, or the logic of celebrities and politicians.
10:31 Do not buy or sell on the Sabbath. And rest on the year of Jubilee and forgive the debts. This is a reminder to us to keep the Sabbath holy. This is not a legalistic thing that says you can’t go out to lunch, run to the grocery store, or get some work done on Sunday. This is about spending time with God and with family. This is about making that a priority. And it’s entering a covenant not to make excuses for why this can’t happen. Sabbath is the excuse for why we can’t do other things, not the other way around.
10:32-39 We will be people that give. Notice the giving specified here includes tithing but goes way beyond that. Giving is a spiritual discipline. We cannot focus on the disciplines we like, ignore the ones we don’t, and pretend we are following God and value His word. Giving must be a part of our life. Giving to the church for the work done here. Giving to other ministries in the community that are partnering with us in this work. And giving to the individuals directly that you encounter in need.
11:1-2 We will serve and volunteer. The work of the church cannot be done by one or two people. It is the work of the congregation or it will fail every time. We must be willing to volunteer where we see our gifts are able to be used. But we also must be willing to serve even when we don’t feel capable when the congregation and leaders are asking for our help.
11:3-36 Again, all the names are listed, each family is represented in the names listed, because every individual is important. It will take the entire congregation.
12:1-26 The priest are not the only position named. It also names gatekeepers, singers, and all kinds of workers. It takes the gifts of many coming together to see an entire community reborn.
12:27-43 Worship leads the way for them and involved everyone. It’s just the same for us. Everyone must make worship a priority. Not just attendance, but participation too. Worship comes first. We can’t attempt to leave worship out and still engage in evangelism and ministry. Worship always leads the way.
12:44-47 Service follows worship. Worship in honor of God is not enough by itself, it must be followed with action. True worship of God leads to service to God’s children.
Keeping the Covenant Chapter 13
13:1-9 We must get rid of the sinful man in our midst. The one that tries to put himself at the center of the temple, of worship. The doubter. The naysayer. The adversary that attacks all that is of God. I’m not talking about the person sitting next to you, I’m referring to the one in the mirror.
13:10-14 Keep the original covenant. It is tempting to fall away in things such as giving. Remember, you’re financing the work of God.
13:15-22 Keep the Sabbath holy. It’s not about a particular day, Sabbath was the time spent with family recognizing the presence of God. If you don’t determine your priority in this area, the world will.
13:23-30 Watch out for stinking thinking. Don’t attach yourself to thinking that is contrary to God’s teaching.